Attractive pricing and excellent quality are encouraging sales of California raisins.
Bulk Natural Thompson Seedless raisins from California were exported to Asia (72%), Europe (21%), and Latin America (7%) over the last 6 months, from September 1st 2018 to February 28th 2019. Japan continues to be the dominant foreign importer globally, representing 36% of the total California raisin market excluding Canada and the USA. Japan received more tonnage over this period than the next 9 largest importing countries combined. Japan represented half of the Asian market for California Natural Thompson Seedless (NTS) raisins. Japanese importers often seek out and pay a premium for California raisins which are cleaned, processed and laser-sorted multiple times to achieve exceptionally low stem and capstem counts. The pace of shipments to Japan will likely accelerate in the coming months as Japanese importers are often especially active buyers of NTS Select raisins for shipment in March, April, and May.
Over the last 6 months, Asia has shown a much deeper roster of countries importing California raisins compared to Europe. There were 10 countries in Asia importing more than 500 packed tons of California Natural Thompson Seedless raisins over the last 6 month period, while only 5 in Europe. For >1,000 packed tons, Asia had 5 (Japan, the Philippines, China, Taiwan, and South Korea) while Europe had only 3 (Norway, Sweden, and Germany).
Though currently only representing single digit market shares of Asia’s imports of California raisins, the Asian countries importing California raisins besides Japan are quite important markets and will likely only become more so in the future. Countries like Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia, and Singapore are largely island nations with physical (small agricultural land areas) and geographic (climate, weather, etc.) constraints on agricultural production. Many of these countries have massive populations, growing middle classes, and highly dense metropolitan areas which are fueling imports of high quality bulk food ingredients like California raisins.
For example, Indonesia had it’s strongest import month in 22 months this February. Indonesia is also the only Asian country to experience positive growth (+56%) for volume imported over the last 6 months compared to the prior year period. Other major Asian importers of California raisins are still down significantly over the same period including China (54%), Thailand (42%), Taiwan (37%), and Japan (37%).
Positive momentum for California raisin shipments continued in February, with the exports (10%) lower compared to last year, an improvement from (35%) in January.
Nonetheless, shipments from August 1st to February 28 still lag the prior year by 23K packed tons or 41%.
With pricing now at more attractive levels for California raisins, and much buying still to come, we expect strong shipments of California raisins in the coming months.
We supply all major bulk California raisins including dried-on-the-vine (DOV) and tray-dried Natural Thompson Seedless Selects, Selma Petes, Flames, Goldens, and other varieties in Jumbo, Select, and Midget sizes and welcome your inquiries. We also supply Selma Pete DOV Double-Run Supreme raisins to Japan and elsewhere which are processed twice to achieve exceptionally low stem and capstem counts. We offer multiple packaging options including custom boxes with client branding, supplier branded boxes, and blank unbranded boxes.
Southern Hemisphere New Crop: South Africa & Chile
In the Southern Hemisphere, New Crop South African and Chilean raisins are now shipping with offers available for April shipments and onwards of Thompson, Flame, Fancy Golden, and other varieties of raisins.
South African raisin farmers and packers opted to produce less Golden raisins this year which is reflected in the pricing. South African currants are also in extremely short supply due to drought conditions in the Vredendal region. With a short new crop from South Africa and a poor crop of currants from Greece, the availability of currants is quite limited globally.
In Chile, the quality is good and there are reports of more Medium Flames than Jumbos this year and reports of shortages in Jumbo Flames are emerging, although the full extent remains to be seen. Quality is of Chilean raisins this year is good and new crop contracts are available.
We also supply South African and Chilean raisins and welcome your inquiries for new crop.
Inventories are down and sales are up for Bulk Sweetened Dried Cranberries (SDCs). The overall situation remains relatively unchanged with tight supply and stable pricing. The availability of Whole Sweetened Dried Cranberries continues to be extremely tight and is reflected in the pricing compared to Sliced SDCs. Higher tariffs continue to make US cranberries more expensive for some countries, including China. Whole and Sliced SDCs are becoming more popular in China, where the red color, taste, and sweetness make the berries an increasingly attractive food ingredient.
We supply Conventional and Organic Whole or Sliced Sweetened Dried Cranberries (SDCs) packed in bulk cases as well as Organic Apple Juice Sweetened varieties. We also work with quarter inch diced and other diced cranberry products available as per client requirement. In addition, we supply 50 Brix and 65 Brix cranberry concentrate shipped in bulk 55 gallon drums.
California walnut availability remains tight with pricing firm and the industry quite well sold. Light Chandler kernel material is very difficult to find at this point. Combo halves and pieces (CHP) and other material -- mostly sought after by the domestic U.S. market -- is available.
Chilean in-shell and shelled walnuts are now available and we welcome your inquiries.
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 provide bleached in-shell walnuts in addition to California shelled product including Chandler and non-Chandler Light Halves & Pieces (LHP) 20%, 40%, 80% and higher based on customer requirements. We also supply Combo Halves and Pieces (CHP).
Prices for Premium and Bakery grade hulled sunflower kernel have risen slightly in the last few weeks, due in part to increases in the cost of shipping. Some sunflower suppliers are sold out of the XXL size.
We supply In-shell sunflower as well as hulled sunflower kernel available in premium and industrial grades for all major sizes. Packaging options include 10 KG, 25 lb, and 50 lb bags.
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 high quality food ingredients at large volumes. If you are interested, please reach out and introduce yourself.