As the 38th World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress in Boca Raton, Florida behind us, we are back to business. This year almost 1,300 industry professionals attended to the congress from over 63 countries. Next INC Congress will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 28 to 30 May 2020.
Please find brief market updates for Hazelnuts, Cashews, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Pecans, Macadamia, 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.
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New crop forecast for Turkish Hazelnuts announced at INC Congress – Boca Raton as 770,000 tons (in-shell hazelnuts) and with 45,000 tons carry over total hazelnut supply from Turkey is expected to be 815,000 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 670,000 – 700,000 tons. as this estimate does not include insect damage rejects or empty shells.
This year Turkish Hazelnut crop seem to be much better compared to previous years and record breaking export figures are expected from Turkish exporters on quantity basis. Of course, it is still early to be sure about the exact figures as the quality risks for hazelnuts continue. So we’ll have a better idea about the hazelnuts crop size and quality at the end of July 2019.
This year, we believe TMO will continue to intervene hazelnut market in Turkey and probably they will be in the market for purchasing at the beginning of September and their purchasing prices for 2019 crop hazelnuts will shape up the market.
The Almond Board of California has released the May Almond Position Report with record breaking shipments of 178.72 million pounds compared to the last year’s 158.29 million pounds with an increase of 13%. 5% of the 2019 new crop is sold as well, showing that buyers are trying to position themselves for the needs until the end of 2019.
Total YTD commitments are also increased 24% compared to the previous year’s same period, many of the packers in California are already sold out and 2019 crop is expected to be late, so we expect there will be a few offers for shipments until mid-September.
Since the report released with strong shipment figures, US Almond prices firmed up around 3-4% for current crop.
This year, Subjective Crop Estimate for California Almonds announced as 2.50 billion pounds (1.13 million tons) and The Objective Estimate will be released on July 3rd, 2019, probably somewhere between 2.50 – 2.60 billion pounds.
The Spanish almond harvest for 2019 is also expected to be very good, similar to 2018. Crop will start being collected by mid-August, and will be available during September 2019.
For cashews, prices are stable and buyers are trying to cover their short term needs from spot market by hoping that there will be a chance for better prices at origin. This is causing European stocks to reduce and prompt demand to increase significantly.
We do not expect prices to come down and there is a risk that supply issues at origin (shortage of RCN) may cause a price increase for deliveries before holiday season (Thanksgiving / Christmas).
INC announced 2019 crop estimate for Brazil Nuts as 86,100 tons (in-shell) which is down 25% compared to 2018 crop (115,500 tons).
After it was clear that this crop will be smaller than last year, prices strongly moved upwards and processors tried to secure their own stocks and were cautious to offer which resulted with even higher prices. But with a lack of demand and a good quantity of carry over, it showed that there will be a still good supply if not the best, which caused prices to come down.
Most of the packers already removed Brazil Nuts from their mainstream product range and started considering Brazil Nuts as a niche product and also lack of demand from South Korea affected market prices to go down.
Macadamia production is increasing rapidly in all growing regions as well as in China. But still, total production is unable to catch up with the increasing demand. Macadamia 2019 crop size estimated as 60,630 MT at INC Congress, which is more or less the same with the previous season.
Packers continue their interest for 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.
Pecan halves prices are going up as most of the halves at origin are sold and in-shell demand from China is also keeping prices firm. We recommend you to fulfill your needs at least until November / December shipments for halves and to be very careful on quality for pieces, which are easy to find.
As discussed at INC Congress, demand is mostly coming from China for in-shell Pecans and consumer demand is not increasing as high as it’s expected compared to the other tree nuts.
China is increasing their own pecan plantation (plantations expected to reach 160,000 hectares by 2021 – was 1000 hectares on 2005) and this is causing risk for processors in USA, Mexico and South Africa. Besides, import tax for pecans in China increased from 7% to 47% due to trade wars between China and USA so processors need to stimulate demand and diversify global demand beyond China otherwise there will be a big surplus.
2019 crop forecast for Turkish Dried Apricots announced at INC Congress as 120,000 tons and Official forecast by Turkish authorities in Malatya announced as 87,642 tons. There is a big difference between these estimates but on average it is expected that we’ll have a good crop size with good quality for Turkish Dried Apricots around 100,000 tons.
During April, frost damage affected few regions in Malatya but there are no serious quality concerns. Actually, general dried apricot quality is expected to be much better (no major hail damages or speckles on apricots) compared to the previous crop. Please note that we may see less availability for Organic and Natural Apricots because farmers won’t have a reason to hide speckles or hail damages.
Prices are mostly affected by currency fluctuations and currently increasing due to stronger Lira but we’re seeing a strong interest for both 2018 and 2019 new crop shipments as buyers want to cover their needs for August shipments.
Turkish Sultana & Thompson Raisins Crop 2019 estimated as 300,000 tons at INC Congress Boca Raton, meaning that we’re going to have a massive crop in Turkey and quality is expected to be good as well.
With higher Thompson prices in California and political issues of Iran and USA, we expect Turkish Raisins (both Sultanas and Thompsons) won’t see a significant price decline as demand will be there, at least until Q4.
Current raw material stocks in Turkey are very tight and stronger Lira also causing prices to climb.