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.
California raisin prices are stable for the new 2018 crop and forward contracting is underway. Buyers are finding some relief in the relatively lower prices compared to the higher prices for last year’s short and rain-damaged crop. Foreign buyers are also eager to renew California raisin shipments to their markets. Export shipments of California Natural Seedless raisins were down 59% in August compared to the prior year, according to data from the Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC).
Weather has been favorable and quality is expected to be strong for California raisins this year, avoiding the quality issues and short supply experienced last year due to rains during the harvest. We anticipate shipment volumes to recover to normal levels in the coming months since much-anticipated new crop shipments will begin this month.
We expect the total supply of California raisins to be approximately 335K MT, consisting of ~260K MT from 2018 production and ~75K MT from 2017 carry-over.
While production recovered compared to last year, total supply is relatively unchanged due to the lower carry-in. The carry-in to 2018 is only ~75K MT, which is 44% lower than the 5-year average carry-in for California Natural Seedless Select raisins. As much as 50K MT of the industry carry-over may be held by Sun-Maid and destined for retail, not bulk raisin export markets. Planted raisin acreage is also in a state of steady decline due to raisin vine pull-outs as farmers plant walnuts, almonds, and other crops.
We have seen exceptional quality from California’s new raisin crop as early loads come in from the fields. In 2019, we expect Asia to continue to displace Europe as the world’s largest export market and Japan to be the largest importing country. Asia has a growing middle-class consumer base which has increasingly more access to, and ability to pay for, imported California raisins. Increasing penetration of e-grocers will not only educate consumers about California raisins, but also introduce California raisins to ever larger consumer audiences in Asia. We have seen our strongest demand for California raisins from our own customers in Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.
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.
Amid weaker prices and record global supply, California walnut handlers face a challenging year ahead. The graphic below illustrates the growing production and acreage of the California walnut industry, based on data from the USDA.
Walnut acreage in California and in other regions is on the rise. California anticipates a crop of 690K Short Tons, which is an all-time record. Chile will have carry-in for the first time ever. China also continues to grow a massive crop in the range of 800K MT, which is consumed domestically. Growth in the supply of walnuts is increasing due to production increases in California, China, Chile, and in the Baltics.
Contracting volume early this year is especially important for California’s in-shell-only packers since they do not have the ability to crack their walnuts themselves. In-shell-only packers who miss the inshell selling season this year because they “want to hold off the market and wait for prices to come up” or “protect their brand” will find themselves in a dire situation if prices remain weak.
There is a silver lining here: an extended period of lower prices and growing supply may build up new destination markets for California walnuts. As prices come down, previously inaccessible markets will be opened and new consumers will be introduced to California walnuts as a delicious and nutritious ingredient. Introducing new consumers to California walnuts will in turn increase the overall demand. Increasing overall demand will ultimately help to rebalance the oversupply and buoy prices.
All varieties are coming in slightly later than expected this harvest season. Some growers and packers are seeing a slight increase in edible yield due to a general lack of tip-shrivel. Howard, Hartley, and other early varieties are being received now, with the expectation that first receipts of Chandler will begin to come in off the trees this week or next.
Please let us know if you have a current need, or would like to book forward contracts for, Jumbo and Jumbo / Large (J/L) inshell Chandler, Howard, Hartley, Vina, Tulare, Serr or any other California walnut varieties. Many customers have also booked contracts for Chandler and Non-Chandler LHP 20%, 40%, 80%+, and more. We can also provide Bleaching for inshell products and vacuum-packing or nitrogen pillow-packing for shelled products.
In preparation for the 2018 cranberry harvest season we visited Wisconsin, the largest production region of cranberries in the U.S. The weather has been favorable and the crop is coming along nicely. With cool evening temperatures and warm humid days this summer, our Wisconsin growers are reporting excellent sugar maturation leading up to this year’s harvest.
Supply remains tight due to shortages of sweetened dried cranberries (SDCs) due to last year’s small cranberry crops in the U.S. and Canada. Lead times remain long and material for prompt shipment is increasingly hard to find with most packers holding off the market or offering at premium prices for forward shipment, if at all. The industry still awaits the USDA’s volume regulation decision, which may further constrain supply. Some packers will have periodic availability for prompt shipment although most will only be booking for shipment in 2019.
Our visits to Wisconsin cranberry bogs and the processing facilities for whole and sliced SDCs can be seen in the graphic below. During this trip, we gained further insight into the mechanics of SDC production. We highlight below the key methods and processes involved in bringing you the world’s best quality sweetened dried cranberries.
The cranberry harvest occurs in the late fall months, after which cranberries are frozen prior to processing into the first SDCs available for shipment in December 2018 or January 2019, depending on the packer.
New crop cranberry shipments, unlike almost every other dried fruit or nut product, DO NOT begin promptly after the receipt of the new crop cranberry harvest. In fact, once harvested, cranberries are first put into cold storage where they are left to freeze solid over several months. The freezing process prepares the fruit for eventual SDC production. All freshly manufactured SDCs are made from fruit that has been frozen for at least several months. “New Crop” for SDCs is therefore somewhat of a misnomer as all SDC products are processed exclusively from frozen fruit and this freezing process takes many months. Once a new lot of SDCs is produced, the product typically has a stable shelf-life of 24 months.
Please let us know if you have a current need, or would like to book forward contracts for, Organic or Conventional Whole or Sliced Sweetened Dried Cranberries (SDCs). We also supply 50 Brix and 65 Brix cranberry concentrate, shipped in bulk 55 gallon drums.
The almond market is on hold as the talk of California type varieties coming in short continues. Suppliers are also awaiting the position report which will come out next week.
All major California Almond varieties will be available to ship in the coming weeks as many buyers are beginning to book their forward inventories. 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.
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.
WORK WITH US AS A SUPPLIER
We are always looking to grow our supplier base with companies capable of delivering continuous high quality product at large volumes. If you are interested, please reach out and introduce yourself.
We welcome your inquiries and look forward to working together to deliver you the highest quality ingredients from the world's best suppliers. We are available to our suppliers and buyers 24/7 over email, phone, or WhatsApp.