New crop raisins are available from California, South Africa, and Chile.
South African raisins are being processed now with the first shipments happening in the second half of March and the first half of April. Intake has jumped up over the last few weeks and recent dry weather has been favorable for processing. The Sultana yield looks to be lower than last year, making for a total South African crop that is not likely to exceed 65,000 metric tons. Prices for South African raisins have softened over the past few weeks, following with California.
In recent weeks, prices for California Natural Thompson Seedless raisins have come down. Weaker shipment numbers compared to last year at this time and slower sales are motivating some producers to be more aggressive with pricing. The current California Thompson raisin price is competitive with the current South African raisin price. California raisin packers may see larger numbers of European buyers in the market for California raisins than in recent years. Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK have almost completely stopped importing California raisins in favor of other, cheaper alternatives. Perhaps competitive prices will encourage these large and important buyers to rediscover the excellent quality California raisins are famous for.
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.
The top 3 importers of California in-shell walnuts -- Turkey, U.A.E., and Italy -- experienced growth in imports of at least 12%.
California in-shell walnuts were exported to the Middle East / Africa (60%), Europe (27%), Asia (12%), and other markets over the last 6 months, from September 1st to February 28th. Turkey, representing 47% of all tonnage for the Middle East & Africa (ME&A), imported 84 MM lbs., an increase of 17% or 12 MM lbs compared to the prior year period. The U.A.E. reported the largest increase in tonnage (29 MM lbs) compared to last year, an increase of over 115%. Jebel Ali has been very active this year on both in-shell and shelled walnuts from California. Italy, the 3rd largest importer globally, also by 12% or 5 MM lbs compared to last year.
According to the California Walnut Board, in-shell export shipments totaled 295 MM lbs., up 38 MM lbs or 15% from the prior year period of 256 MM lbs from September to February. With a later harvest this year, shipments were slower in October than past years but picked up quickly thereafter. Shipments in November, December, January and February were all stronger than the prior year. Now, California walnut packers are quite well sold and only a few miscellaneous in-shell walnut loads are available.
The quality of Chile’s new crop walnuts looks good with both the size and yield looking normal with favorable conditions leading up to the harvest. The temperature during the last few weeks before Chile’s harvest tends to determine the color of the walnuts. If there is too much heat, perhaps the nuts will be darker than normal. If conditions remain favorable, the color will be light and the crop will be healthy. This year, Chile’s walnut crop is estimated to be 135,000 - 150,000 metric tons, although it will take some weeks to get an accurate accounting of the final number.
Shipments of Chilean walnuts will begin over the next few weeks with early varieties like Serr available for shipment in the first half of April and Chandler shipping just a few weeks later around second half of April - first half of May.
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).
Pistachios shipments are ahead of last year and strong new planting activity this year suggests further growth to come. In 2018, 30,000 acres of pistachios were planted, making it the largest year of plantings ever. Exports of open in-shell pistachios totaled 255 MM lbs from September 1st to February 28th, up 38 MM lbs or 18% from the prior year period according to date from the Administrative Committee for Pistachios.
Demand from China and Hong Kong continued to drive strong exports of bulk open in-shell pistachios to Asia. Tariffs with China were a concern earlier in the season but have not slowed down purchasing. There is only a 15% tariff on roasted pistachios for China so producers are shipping roasted product and avoiding higher tariffs. Iran, the only other major pistachio producing origin, is struggling with a weak crop due to frost damage and a challenging trade environment.
With a work-around from higher tariffs and few competitors, California pistachio producers succeeded in marketing and selling a record crop.
We supply in-shell and kernel pistachios for all sizes, grades and styles. We also supply roasted Extra No. 1 pistachios and welcome your inquiries.
Not much has changed in the global cranberry markets over the last few weeks. Demand remains strong with many sellers reporting good sales of Whole SDC, Organic Whole and Organic Sliced SDC. Many suppliers also report that the various Juice Infused SDC products are increasingly popular with European buyers as an alternative to traditional sugar infused products.
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’s almond bloom has been going well, with plenty of moisture helping to produce promising budding nutlets. It is still too early to know how the new crop will compare to last year’s crop but the weather in California’s central valley has been favorable for the bloom.
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.
U.S. sunflower prices have risen slightly over the last few months, reflecting increased costs of production and increased costs of freight.
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.