December 10, 2017
Anderson Exports is a Dried Fruit & Nut Agency in Northern California. We specialize in sourcing the best ingredients from California and the rest of the world.
Competition for the smallest raisin crop in over a decade is pushing prices up for both processors and downstream customers. Many growers view the negotiated RBA field price as too low and are instead opting to hold their raisins until processors pay a higher price. Raisin deliveries to handlers have totaled 117,000 tons this year, down considerably from the prior period figure of 167,000 tons. With supply expected to be well below demand this year, packers are bidding on the remaining fruit, causing prices to rise further. In order to remain profitable, packers are increasing prices for their customers and some are no longer offering long-term purchase contracts.
Even with prices now at multi-year highs, the prospects of a downward correction remain dim. There will very likely be a severe shortage of material this year. Demand far outpaces the latest estimate for the current crop of approx. 200,000 tons. Therefore, we expect prices to rise as competition for remaining tonnage intensifies further.
We strongly encourage our buyers to engage with us as early as possible in order to secure tonnage at an attractive price. Due to the rains while the crop was drying, we also strongly advise our customers to purchase dried-on-the-vine (DOV) rather than traydried raisins. We are already seeing shortages, particularly in Jumbo Goldens and Medium Flames. We are well-positioned to offer on a wide variety of raisins and welcome your inquiries.
The cranberry markets have had a significant shakeup this year due to the long period of low pricing in combination with oversupply. It seems this mix has taken its toll on some smaller processors causing some consolidation in the market. Add to this a smaller than anticipated crop in both the US and Canada, approximately 15% of the US crop is estimated to be too small with stunted growth due to very cool temperatures in August and September.
This is likely to tip the balance of pricing toward a higher benchmark, although a reduction in total supply may also help with the past oversupply, so we expect prices to rise, but only steadily, over time. We recommend forward booking your needs, if possible, as the current legislation for an additional conscious reduction in further total supply may lead to continual price increases for the foreseeable future.
Sliced SDC is available on a limited spot basis with most sellers requiring a 4-5 week lead time for production. Wholes have even less spot availability with orders pushed out to available for prompt shipment if you have a need. We do not have visibility on wholes until after January 1, 2018.
We are nearing the end of the holiday order season for in-shell walnuts as new orders are not likely to arrive by Christmas. Shipments are expected to remain strong through the new year.
As the toll from this summer’s record heat continues to be seen in the received walnut crop, processors are holding offers close to the chest. The material from California will still be good quality although with some instances of darker color due to this heat. It will likely be a good year for halves & pieces since many processors do not want to risk quality claims on in-shell if they can laser sort their shelled product.
November’s shipment report confirms this as in-shell shipments are down while shelled shipments remained stable compared to the prior period. This tells us that processors are hesitant to offer in-shell for fear of inconsistent product, while the shelled shipments tell us the quality is still good when processors can control for the inconsistencies of in-shell product (i.e. laser-sorting, photo-sorting, etc.).
That said, we have seen some good quality in-shell shipped out of the northern regions of California. There is still Jumbo Chandler, J/L Chandler and Jumbo Howard, J/L Howard available for prompt shipment from the port of Oakland, California. We look forward to accommodating your needs on in-shell and shelled (LHP) California Walnut products.
Read the November Walnut Shipment Report
The U.S. sunflower harvest occurred slightly more slowly than expected. There were weather issues in some Northern areas, creating disease problems. However, overall, the harvest went smoothly. The total U.S. planted acreage this year effectively sustained the industry to reach another year. The Canadian crop was even smaller than the prior year. In the Eastern bloc, production continued to rise. Prices are expected to be steady through the new year for U.S. crop.