Anderson Exports is a Bulk Ingredients Sourcing Agency in Northern California. We specialize in sourcing the best ingredients from California, Brazil and the rest of the world. Our newsletter delivers actionable market intelligence to inform our clients' purchasing decisions.
Purchasing commitments for almonds are occurring at a slower pace compared to last year. According to the latest Almond Position Report, domestic and export commitments totaled 164 million lbs by the end of September, about 23% behind the prior year period.
Due to the uncertain trade climate, many buyers have been covering their almond needs on a hand-to-mouth basis rather than extending high volume contracts long into the future. We are seeing weaker demand from China, Turkey, the UAE, and the EU in particular. Another driver of lower shipments may be related to the early season frost, which caused many suppliers to pull off the market and only offer limited amounts while the impacts were assessed.
The Nonpareil crop is thought to be shorter than expected. Amid these early reports of a smaller crop, the market was sloppy for some time, with a wide spread of pricing. More recently, prices have demonstrated some stability.
Our most popular almond varieties are Nonpareil, Independence, Butte/Padre, and Carmel types with the most popular grades of Supreme, Extra, Standard 5%, and more.
California raisin prices are stable and the new 2018 crop shipments are starting. Foreign importers are especially keen to receive the first shipments of the new California Thompson raisins. Export shipments of Natural Thompson Seedless raisins have been much lower than normal this year. The latest October figures showed export shipments down by 59% compared to the prior year, according to data from the Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC).
These shipment figures show that there may be some pent-up or “overhanging” demand, as some customers who made contracts with California packers last year did not receive the total number of containers they had contracted due to the historic shortages faced this past year in California. This means there are some buyers who will be receiving the first shipments of the 2018 crop at last year’s prices, on last year’s contracts. We see the likely primary drivers of this year’s price as consistent demand, historically low carry-in levels (approx. 70,000 MT), and the premium California’s global customer base is willing to pay for what are widely known as the world’s best raisins.
We supply all major bulk California raisins including dried-on-the-vine (DOV) and tray-dried Thompson Seedless Selects, Selma Petes, Flames, Goldens, and other varieties in Jumbo, Select, and Midget sizes and welcome your inquiries.
South Africa is almost completely sold out of the 2018 crop. New crop is expected to begin being harvested during the first quarter of 2019. South Africa has been increasing its tonnage year-over-year for some time now. We recently met with one of our large South African raisin suppliers and were informed that South Africa is estimated to produce around 70,000 MT of raisins this year. Much of this tonnage will go to Europe with another increasing portion of the crop going to to buyers in China.
Our suppliers have also reported a large number of new plantings for the Selma Pete, DOV variety of raisins. This is a similar trend seen in California’s Central Valley, as many suppliers are either transitioning older vines or planting new vineyards with the Selma Pete variety. South Africa and California are so focused on this variety because Selma Pete is reported to not only produce a sweeter raisin than a Thompson, but also a larger total volume of final product with 69% higher than average “B or Better” (B&B) numbers.
Chile is essentially sold out for their 2018 crop, with new crop expected to begin its harvest, like South Africa, in the first quarter of 2019. Many of our suppliers in Chile are reporting that they are completely sold out of dark raisins from 2018, with only some small quantities of Golden raisins still available to ship. Due to the large uncertainties surrounding the Trump Administration’s tariff wars globally, we saw many Chinese buyers and other affected markets transition from filling their needs with California raisins to Chilean product. While it may be tempting to source from Chile due to the lower prices and favorable free trade agreements, the overall quality lags behind that found in California. This is because Chilean raisins are made from grapes rejected by the table grape industry while California raisins are made from fresh grapes grown expressly to be dried into raisins.
The California walnut harvest is underway. With many early varieties almost fully in and off the trees. The season began with much apprehension from sellers, opening at some of the lowest levels seen in many years. This caused buyers to wait, and wait, and wait. Buyers staying off the market early this season brought pricing levels for in-shell walnuts down early this year as compared to previous years. Many suppliers were offering Chandler J/L under USD $1.00 / lb. CIF. We advised buyers to jump in at these historically low levels. Despite this advice, many buyers opted to continue to wait. Instead of seizing on the opportunity to book fantastic quality material at incredible pricing, many buyers thought it prudent to focus on haggling over 1 or 2 cents per lb and in fact MISSED these low prices entirely!
The most recent news from our suppliers in the Linden area, and elsewhere in California, is that the Chandler crop may be much smaller than first projected. This is causing many of the largest suppliers to hold off the market to determine how much smaller this year’s Chandler crop is before re-entering the market with what will likely be higher pricing.
The popular early varieties of Howards and Hartleys have been shipping, with reports from the orchards of higher than average meat yields for Howards, with little to no tip-shrivel. This is good news for customers who buy in-shell products from California.
The California Walnut Board’s Monthly Management Report details shipment figures for September 2018 show lower in-shell shipments than at this time last year. The weaker in-shell shipment figures for September may be evidence of buyers’ early apprehension, as outlined above. However, these weaker numbers could also be due to environmental issues, as growers are reporting that this year’s Chandler crop matured a few weeks later than previous years, which would also delay shipments in a material way.
As the newest chandler numbers become more widely available this fall, the industry will get a better idea of the total tonnage they actually have to sell. It is hard to say when California suppliers will again be offering in-shell Chandler walnuts, but when sellers do come back into the market, It is unlikely we will see in-shell pricing anywhere near the low opening levels of this season.
We work with California’s top walnut packers to supply our customers with Jumbo and Jumbo / Large (J/L) in-shell Chandler, Howard, Hartley, Vina, Tulare, Serr and other varieties. We also supply California shelled product including Chandler and non-Chandler Light Halves & Pieces (LHP) 20%, 40%, 80% and higher based on customer requirements.
Early reports suggest the new cranberry crop may not be as strong as expected earlier in the year. In Wisconsin, cranberry production is thought to be down compared to last year and in Massachusetts, there are some concerns about rot. Though the extent of impact remains to be seen, the prospect of tight supply again in the year ahead seems likely. The harvest was also a bit delayed this year--extending the period in which sweetened dried cranberries (SDCs) are hard to come by -- and, when found, come at high prices.
There will be a few more weeks until firm pricing is available widely for 2019 cranberry prices. With the 2018 cranberry crop effectively sold-out, SDCs may become more expensive in the year ahead. While prices may rise further, the increases should be more modest than the 30-40% increases observed in this past year. SDC pricing in 2019 has yet to fully take shape so we’ll have to wait and see. Given the issues with prompt availability, we continue to advise early planning and action on sweet and dried cranberry procurement and we welcome your inquiries.
Details of the Handler Withholding also indicate that the impact on SDC pricing may be somewhat mitigated since producers have the option to dispose of as much as half of the restriction in the form of concentrate, rather than SDCs. The disposed fruit must originate from the current crop year. The 15% Handler Withholding for the 2017 crop proposed by the Cranberry Marketing Committee (CMC) was approved by the USDA. However, the decision remains unknown for the 2018 Producer Allotment which would mandate a 25% disposal of cranberries. If the next Handler Withholding passes, supplies would surely tighten and firm-up prices for SDCs. Together, the potential for a weaker-than-expected new cranberry crop and the passing of the 2018 Handler Withholding are key catalysts for supply tightness and firmer prices going forward.
We supply Conventional and Organic Whole or Sweetened Dried Cranberries (SDCs) packed in bulk cases as well as 50 Brix and 65 Brix cranberry concentrate shipped in bulk 55 gallon drums.
The Pistachio harvest is underway in California with the first reports from processors describing a crop that has a smaller nut size, on average, than last year. For comparison, one of the most common sizes of California pistachios, the US Extra #1 21-25, has had its sizing range extended to account for the smaller average nut sizes seen as the crop is received from the fields. This means many pistachio sellers are currently offering their US Ex. #1 21-25 as a 21-26 or even 21-27. Pricing for pistachios will likely remain firm in the year ahead due to the very strong global demand and relatively small and highly concentrated supply.
There have been early reports of hurricane damage, although the full extent of the damage remains to be seen. The harvest is beginning in much of the southern United States, with many sellers positive about a good quality crop.
We supply Fancy Junior Mammoth Halves (FJMH), Fancy Mammoth Halves, Fancy Pieces, and other sizes / types for all major U.S. pecan varieties.
We work with a number of other products so please reach out if you have an inquiry for something you do not see here. We are experts in sourcing bulk food ingredients and welcome the opportunity to work with you on your inquiries. Some of our other product offerings include sunflower seeds, lentils, green peas, freeze dried fruits, popcorn, dried cherries, dried apples, dried blueberries, cherry concentrate, quinoa, dried honey dates, dried cherry tomatoes, dried gojis, dried kiwis, dried strawberries, chickpeas, chia seeds, dried mulberries, almonds, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, pecans, brazil nuts, pumpkin seed kernels, melon kernels, hazelnuts, dried prunes, golden raisins, sultanas, dried apricots, sweet apricot kernels, dried black currants, dried figs, dried dates, popcorns, maraschino cherries, dried tomatoes, strawberry pie filling, blueberry pie filling, cherry pie filling, dried mangoes, dried gingers, dried pineapple, and desiccated coconut.
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