Vine Fruit Market Report – August 2020

Turkey – It’s currently estimated that Turkey will product 300’000 Tonnes this season, however it’s important to point out that the proportion of Thompson Raisins in this figure never tends to exceed 50’000 MT even in a really dry season (a mere 30k for 2019/2020). The lion’s share of this crop is sultanas and light-coloured fruit but also at least 50’000 MT of this crop belongs to domestic consumption and wine production.

Most recently the Turkish Government (TMO) announced that they would be procuring fruit this season in order to bring stability to the export price. Due to inflation rates of 10- 15% this will most likely be higher than last season and so many packers are expecting this to be 12 Turkish Lira as their raw material purchase price. This has meant current offerings for Turkish Sultanas are between 1800 USD – 1950 USD FOB for the new season. This is another firm opening season for Turkish Vine Fruits and a third season in a row which has opened higher than its previous.

USA – The crop size is estimated to be 220’000 Tonnes this season and with domestic consumption at 200k that leaves a miniscule 20k to export. This has resulted in firmer opening levels which have been announced between 2100 – 2200 USD CFR.

China – Usually discounted 200 USD from Turkey however stone and quality issues are prevalent with this origin, they do not produce raisins generally it is just sultanas.

South Africa – Do not let the figures deceive you! The proportion of Raisins within their 90’000 tonne crop is much higher than every other origin with the exception of the USA. Farmers prefer to dry Thompson Raisins in S/A due to the preferential conditions which suit them perfectly. The drying time is just 14 days which is 7 days less than most origins.

It has been announced this season that over 1.2 million new vines will be planted in preparation for next season, the majority of these will be Selma Pete variety which are well known for producing exclusively Thompson Variety Grapes. The next crop is estimated to be 5000 Tonnes bigger with the new plantings factored in. Another factor to bear in mind with this crop is the timing of Ramadan and the demand of up to 16’000 MT of Golden Raisins created by it. With this due to occur 12th April next year.

April next year and the Southern Hemisphere harvest happening in Mid-March, we know that it is impossible for any of the South African product to be packed and shipped in time to achieve this date. It is therefore perfectly safe to assume that the farmers will be focusing more on growing the other varieties typical to South Africa for next season, which are primarily Thompson (60% total crop) but also Sultanas, Flame Medium, Flame Jumbo and Zante Currants.

FGI are recommending all of our Vine Fruits customers to turn their attentions to this origin this season as they are able to undercut the Turkish price in most instances by 100 USD (and more) on most products and with no compromise on quality. Fruit from this origin has always been viewed by manufacturers as a premium product equivalent to that of the USA’s due to its lower micro and waxy more resilient skin which prevents sugars from escaping and causing ‘clumping’.

Also it is important for us to point out that South Africa have a GSP (general system of preference) in place, which in the event of a no deal Brexit is transferrable and so 0% duty will continue for all South African dried vine fruits. Turkey and Greece on the other hand will be subject to additional tariffs of 2.4% for UK imports as they are within the European Union & are without a pre-existing GSP.

Please get in touch as soon as you can for pricing from South Africa. It is FGI’s belief that the South African market will start to firm with the above information in mind and demand will begin to turn to this market as we see higher pricing from the two biggest producers: Turkey and the USA. The quality of fruit from South Africa is very high and at a discount it provides a strong reason to switch origins.