As the 37th World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress in Sevilla (Spain) behind us, we are back to business. This year around 1,500 industry professionals attended to the congress from over 60 countries. Next INC Congress will be held in Boca Raton, Florida from 22 to 25 May 2019.

INC 2018 Sevilla Spain Congress Opening

INC 2018 Sevilla Spain Congress Opening

Please find brief market updates for Hazelnuts, Cashews, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Pecans, Macadamia, Dried Figs, Dried Apricots, and Sultana Raisins below. BATA FOOD will continue to publish latest dried fruits and nuts industry news and our comments at our blog.

Feel free to follow us on social media to get industry updates directly.

For more information about our products and market news of other products, do not hesitate to contact us.

Organic Hazelnuts BATA FOOD Turkey

Hazelnuts (Filberts)

New crop forecast for Turkish Hazelnuts announced at INC Congress – Sevilla as 640,000 tons (inshell hazelnuts) and with 170,000 tons carry over total hazelnut supply from Turkey is expected to be 810,000 tons this year. You can see full chart including all major hazelnut producing countries below.

We think real crop size will be a little lower than announced – around 620,000 tons . Right now for current crop hazelnut prices are mostly effected by TMO offers but weak Turkish Lira (today USD/TRY rate 4.58) is correcting the prices and export prices are stable in US Dollar basis.

As TMO will continue to intervene hazelnut market in Turkey and possibly with higher prices (rumors are it will be as 15.00 TL/kg for inshell prices – against 10.00 TL/kg of previous years purchasing prices), new crop 2018 offers are already 7-8% higher than current prices. Because of the upcoming general elections in Turkey (June 24th, 2018) there is an uncertainty in the markets and sellers are nervous as it is hard to take position at the moment.

We’ll have a better idea about the hazelnut market after elections and once TMO announce their new crop purchasing prices.

Hazelnuts Product Page
Hazelnut Paste Product Page

Almonds

After frost damage news on March, now we see that frost did not affect California almond orchards in a serious way. Frost mostly affected younger trees and they would only have produced a smaller yield anyway. This year, Subjective Crop Estimate for Almond Production in California announced as 2.30 billion lb (1.04 million tons) higher compared to previous crop (which was 2.25 billion lb). Still, it could have been much bigger crop this year reflecting the growing acreage, if there had been no frost.

As discussed at the INC Congress, main concerns for almond processors in California are ground water problems – as regulations change in California, it’s getting harder for farmers to reach ground water as they require and increasing labor wage is another problem, they need immigrants especially for harvesting period. In general, demand is keeping up with the growing supply of almonds and ending stock is getting lower every year. Packers at origin and also buyers in import countries finding new application areas for almonds such as almond milk, almond yoghurt, almond protein etc. to keep demand alive.

We will have a more accurate idea about crop size once Almonds May Position Report will be released on June 11th and The Objective Almond Crop Estimate during the first week of July 2018.

The 2.30 billion lb subjective estimate has not been widely accepted by buyers so the objective estimate is even more highly awaited.

Despite the heavy rains on February and March, we also see over 12% increase expected for Spanish Almond Crop 2018 with 60,398 tons (almost 30% of total Spanish Almond Crop is organic) estimation compared to 53,619 tons last year.

Almonds Product Page

Organic Cashews Supplier BATA FOOD Turkey

Cashews

For cashews, current demand is slow and RCN prices are going down since last two months while expensive stocks are waiting afloat in India and Vietnam. Packers in Vietnam trying to cover their RCN needs as much as possible with the lower prices but RCN traders are not keen to sell high quantities.

With the low demand and lower Cashew kernel prices, some of the small and medium sized processors are already closed their factory as it is not feasible for them to continue processing. Some packers are also feeling pressure to sell cashew kernels at low prices to pay for the RCN stocks they bought at higher prices. Top and good financing packers have no problem as they did not buy big volumes and can finance themselves quickly by using their properties as collateral.

We think that prices may go down a little more but do not expect a big decline – as we think cashew market is close to the bottom levels. EU and Chinese buyers are silent these days (as China first wants to sell their expensive stocks) but any small increase on demand may also cause a sharp price increase. So covering yourself for short and mid term can be a smart move at current levels.

There are many offers for big sizes like W180 – W210 – W240 but buyers do not show much interest and W450 price is almost at the same levels of W320, while demand is good for LP and there are less offers.

Cashews Product Page

Brazil Nuts

After a last years disaster Brazil Nut market is covering. INC announced 2018 crop for Brazil Nuts as 87,000 tons (in-shell) which is almost double compared to 2017 crop (44,520 tons).

This year harvest started early because people at growing regions needed to go in jungle as they do not have any other income. Collectors asked for higher prices and factories agreed on it easily which caused higher opening prices (still much lower than previous year) and packers took advantage of earlier shipments with the high 2017 crop prices before the anticipated price decline for 2018. However, these early shipments were limited as importers did not want to bring un-sold stocks at high levels considering a falling market later.

It is now very clear that South Korea is the largest importer of Brazil Nuts, they are importing more than USA (2nd) and Germany (3rd) combined. As it seem like they will continue to be the largest importer of Brazil Nuts, they are not buying whatever is in the market like last year, mostly trading hand to mouth. As the market is going normal, many retail sellers in Europe – especially UK and Germany – decided to put Brazil nuts back to their portfolio.

We expect that prices will continue to increase in a long term as there is no chance to increase production quickly (One brazil nut tree is growing in 12-14 years) while demand is going up every year.

Right now, we see prices decline at origin but spot (EU) situation is very complicated. It is very though to get containers at origin and find empty space in vessels which caused shortages in spot especially for Medium size Brazil Nuts which caused traders to pay premium for spot material to fulfill their contracts.

However, we think that Brazil nut prices will reach historical levels sometime over the second half of 2018 after buyers cover their needs for a mid-term.

Brazil Nuts product page

Pecans

There are no major movements for the pecan market these days. Market is calm, prices continue to stay firm and shippers are not in rush to sell their stocks as most of the product is already sold or in hands of big farmers and traders.

It is expected that this year there will be a larger crops in both origins – around 10% – and there will be a price adjustment for 2019 supply with the strong competition of cheaper tree nuts but we do not expect a sharp decline any time for upcoming crop. This is of course very related to the impact of tariffs in China and expected demand from there.

Pecans product page

Macadamia

Macadamia is really rare like a gold. There are almost no offers for the current crop – you can consider that season is almost over at origin as many of the packers are sold out – even before the first containers arrival in Europe (starting from May).

Packers are mostly interested in selling in-shell macadamia to China rather than processing for European market. Major buyers in Europe and China buying more and more every year so it makes situation very hard for small – mid sized importers.

We recommend you to fulfill your needs at least for next 6 months if you can find any material at origin or even spot especially for style 0, 1 and 2.

Macadamia product page

Dried Apricots

2018 crop forecast for Turkish Dried Apricots announced as 125,000 tons by Turkish authories, 13.5% lower compared to previous crop. This year harvest will start 2 – 3 weeks earlier and there is a risk of rain during harvest.

During May, thunder and hail damaged few regions in Malatya which caused hail damage and speckles on apricots. We don’t know exact figures yet but 30% of may be blemished. Many farmers have an insurance against hail damage, so if prices fall below the cost of harvesting so farmers will leave the fruit in the orchards as their loss will be covered.

This year availability for Organic and Natural Apricots will be higher as farmers will not sulphur the apricots with speckles on it to hide defects. It is very possible that new crop prices will open very similar to current crop prices, farmers won’t let prices to go down.

For current apricot crop 2017, sizes 0 (jumbo), 1, 2 and 3 are completely sold out but for new crop big sizes will be available in large quantities – price difference between sizes 1 to 4 will be lower, but packers may have difficulties to source smaller quantities, especially size 5 and 6.

We will start offers for 2018 Crop Dried Apricots later this month, so feel free to send us your inquiries.

Update 07  June 2018:  Today, Malatya Commodity Exchange shared their forecasted crop for Dried Apricots as 89,318 tons (Malatya + neighbor regions) which is much lower than quantities estimated earlier at INC Congress. See full report (in Turkish) of Malatya Commodity Exchange

Sulphured Dried Apricots product page
Natural and Organic Dried Apricots product page

Sultana Raisins

Turkish Sultana Crop 2018 estimated as 290,000 tons at INC Congress Sevilla which is around 10% less than 2017 Turkish crop. There was a good demand this year as the quality for Turkish sultana raisins was very good in general as well and also price was very competitive compared to US and other markets  – so it is likely there will be a very small carry over this year and packers will start processing 2018 material as soon as the season starts.

Farmers are organized and keeping stocks on hand just like they did previous years and prices increased 10% during last two weeks.

Because of the very high US Thompson prices, last year demand moved to Turkey and Turkish Thompson (raw material) prices went up from 4.50 TL/kg to 8.5 TL/kg levels. Thompson (un-dipped) raisin demand is increasing in general and this year around 15% of crop will be Thompson raisins. Producers in California are also optimistic about the new crop, around 235,000 tons of raisin production is expected in California.

We also expect government to intervene Turkish Sultana market just like the hazelnuts market. The important question will be the quantity TMO planning to buy and also their purchasing price levels. Market will shape up based on TMO prices, situation in US, Iran and other producing countries and also political situation in Turkey (general elections in Turkey on June 24th 2018).

Sultana Raisins product page

Dried Figs

2018 crop forecast for Turkish Dried Figs announced as 72,000 tons at INC Congress on May 2018 which is 8% less than previous crop 2017.

Last year after September, we saw a sharp increase at the opening prices with quality concerns especially for land figs and importers were reluctant to bring stocks at the beginning with these high price levels. But right now we see that season will be closed with a very small ending stock which means that buyers got used to these prices. Big sizes from 1 to 3 are almost finished in the market for current crop.

Prices are stable at the moment as the sharp increase stopped 2 months ago. We expect new crop prices to open at the same levels with the current crop prices – but definitely not lower. It is very possible that incase of a low demand (not likely to happen) farmers will choose to hold their goods on hand as most of the farmers at fig growing regions are financially comfortable compared to the growers of other products.

Dried Figs product page