Dried Fruit Market Update – March 2021

Severe rainfalls and flooding have swept through South Africa this season! These have had dire consequences on the total crop size during the highly sensitive drying stage of the season.

A crop of 85,000 Metric tonnes was originally anticipated in November,  however this has been re-evaluated a number of times as the damage caused by flooding around the Orange River has been assessed. It is now estimated to be in the region of 65 – 65,700 tonnes.  Consequently in a very short space of time we have moved from a good crop to a short crop and are observing a bullish market. Farmers are responding to news of the short crop and are reported to be very confident when asking for higher prices for raw material from packers.

Here at First Grade we are observing rallying prices on most Southern Hemisphere Dried Vine Fruits, especially on Medium sized fruits such as Thompson and Flame where demand is most concentrated.

The short crop in the USA combined with the increased demand from Europe suggests that there is every possibility that this season’s crop could sell out in a matter of months or even weeks. We are therefore recommending any buyers of South African fruit to take cover for the season at their earliest opportunity to avoid risking a shortage in supply.

Over in Chile they have also experienced similar severe rainfalls  and consequently a much shorter crop than originally estimated. Packers are indicating a crop reduction of 30-40%  – when we consider a normal season for Chile would be 65,000 tonnes this weather damage will be a huge blow  to their export volume this season and as a direct result we expect prices to rise.

If there is an opportunity for us to support your business with our wide range of dried fruit products, please send an enquiry to our bulksales@fg-int.co.uk email & a member of our dedicated bulk ingredients team will respond at the earliest opportunity.