Due to COVID-19, most of the people are working at home as some of the countries are in full lockdown and/or people self-isolating themselves. The business continues more or less the same as the food industry is seen as one of the most important industries in these days. We wish all of our partners and their families good health.
We see a surge in demand for food commodities especially for products with a longer shelf life and suppliers having difficulties to keep up with high demand due to transportation and labor issues which slows down the shipments.
Some of the countries restricting access to borders and ports and there is a container shortage in general. We expect delays for most of the shipments especially from Asia and there is a high possibility of low stocks for import countries in a short term.
We strongly advise you to cover your short-term needs to avoid any further stock issues.
You can 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.
On March 2020, Exporters Association in Turkey published 2020 Hazelnut crop estimation at 613,000 tons (in-shell hazelnuts) based on the flower count.
This is not a surprise for the industry experts after bumper 2019 crop which was around 800,000 tons. We’ll have a more accurate forecast by authorities on June and will keep you posted.
Turkey exported 243.517 tons of hazelnuts until the end of March which is stronger compared to 184.217 tons in 2018/2019 season same period and 185.858 tons in 2017/2018 season same period. There is no availability for organic hazelnuts in the market but supply continues for conventional varieties though production slowed down.
Weak Turkish Lira (today USD/TRY 6.67 – EUR/TRY 7.31) keeping prices under pressure but we still see a small upward trend which can change rapidly if coronavirus situation gets worse in Turkey as factories may need to shutdown their operations.
Bloom period is developing fine and a huge almond crop – over 2.8 billion lbs is expected in the USA. Almond export figures were very good on February (+7.9% vs February 2019) and March shipment report will be announced on April 12.
After March shipment report, we may see a downward trend for almond prices as there is a sufficient stock to fulfill the demand and large new crop expectation is supporting our view that there won’t be any stock issues. An important point is transport and labor problems can cause a problem for importers due to increasing COVID-19 cases in USA.
Additionally, Organic Spanish Almonds, conventional Spanish Almonds big sizes and small sizes are almost sold out and nearly impossible to source at the moment.
For cashews, prices are at decade low levels with a big impact of COVID-19 pandemic on already low prices.
India declared 21 days lockdown which will casue a delay for cashew shipments and some of the factories in Vietnam stopped their production due to very low demand especially from China. West African governments set a minimum export price for RCN to protect the farmers but processors in Vietnam are very reluctant to buy as they can not foresee the future demand.
Spot demand in US and EU market is good as more people consuming healthy snacks and nuts while working from home but we think price correction will happen only if China gets back to the market.
The prices of brazil nut kernels are still coming down at origin and it’s a real problem for collectors as they need fair prices to make their living.
Bolivia is in shutdown at least until April 15 after a further rise in coronavirus cases. Brazil Nut production stopped since March 21, which means that most of the shipments will be postponed to May 2020 in a good scenario – and all the stocks waiting to be exported will be shipped at the same time which will probably cause an oversupply after June.
Extended delays will cause a shortage and we’ll probably see higher prices in spot market in the short term.
Apricot market is slow on both demand and supply side. Sellers are on hold and do not rush to sell their goods as they are waiting for the development of the blossom-period as the frost risk still continues.
In few weeks we may see good prices with the help of weak Turkish Lira unless we see any serious frost damage.
Since few months, the market is completely sold out for Salted Sun Dried Tomatoes (organic and conventional).
Dried Tomato market, especially IQF / semi-dry category is also hit by coronavirus pandemic because the food service industry is out of the market as most of the restaurants and cafes closed their doors.
There is no shortage for the supply of Sulphured Sun Dried Tomatoes (mostly for the US and Australia market) and Semi-Dry (Oven Dried) Tomatoes but production in Turkey slowed down as factories minimizing labor force after increasing COVID-19 risk.