Doraintrade is working as an agent, broker and consultant at international markets targeting to build a strong link between producers and buyers on trust basis. Doraintrade has been tracing the market on behalf of producers and buyers in order to give feedback and market reports from the source regularly. Ms. Banu Er of Doraintrade supplied the following information about Turkish dried fruits:
Turkish export levels in dried fruits varieties are positive mainly because of big Sultanas crop 2014, accept big loss in dried apricots production and dried figs quality problems.
Average prices for Turkish dried fruits and nuts have risen dramatically comparing last year. However, some 40% drops’ the prices in average in sultanas this year. Worldwide interest towards Turkish products is increased for Sultanas due to the prices, but different origin available products such as apricots demand remain weak.
Russian authorities decision of closing their borders to USA or EU origin food imports, has rise the hopes in Turkey in aim of there might be more opportunities for Turkish origin products. However, nowadays we can see that relating to Russian economical issues and currency fluctuations damage the country’s international trade. Buyers from Russia remain desperate against daily rising foreign currencies values and their imports from Turkey nearly stopped.
Turkish Sultana Raisins
Probably the most fortunate dried fruit crop was Turkish sultanas in 2014. With around 320.000 m. tons expected production and the price levels were favorable to buyers from all over the world. 2014 International Conference of the world raisins producing countries was held this year in San Juan in Argentina between 9th and 12th November. The conference advised that there would be a total of 778,106 m. tons of sultanas and raisins available for export compared to 720,145 the previous year. 303,000 m. tons announced to be available for export from Turkey and 191,806 tons from the US. This means substantial quantity is from Turkish suppliers to sell.
Turkish export level for sultana raisins reached over 100,000 m. tons in 1/9/2014 and 13/12/204 period comparing 67,000 m. tons at the same period last year. Turkish sultana prices started low at beginning of the season, this caused a big increase in exports. It has now been thought to be around 200,000 m. tons might be already contracted for current crop.
Prices of both Turkish sultanas and raisins have firmed on the offering no 9 sultanas between USD1550 –USD1700 pmt FOB Izmir depends on grade. It is possible that prices may rise further particularly for shipments through until the end of the season next August.
Typically in current type of season, we should expect also a big carryover for the next crop. However, due to the low prices, continuous demand may push the most of the available quantity to be exported until the end of August. Normally USA, Iran or China origin raisins buyers also diverted to Turkish source because of price advantage. Big crop has enabled availability of normally short quantities such Thompson raisins or Organics yet International buyers has seen this advantage and contract mentioned specific products from the early stages of the season. Mostly quality issues about Turkish Sultanas this year Moldy berries, Undeveloped/shivered berries that directly influent Microbiology results in Mold&Yeast and TVC.
Historically, very big crops such as this year follows by short crops due to vineyards go weaker after a doubled yield in some parts. Moreover, the growers could not earn enough income this year due to the raw material low prices (2,5-3,5TL av.). This means they may not be able to invest enough for their vineyards as fertilizing or maintenance that also such important to recover after a big crop harvest.
2014 Crop Dried Figs
As we have been informing you, 2014 crop figs harvest started and continued with lots of quality problems. Export available quality products volume was very shorter than expected from the beginning of the season. Normally price drop may be expected After Christmas period however due to lack of quantity, to expect any lower price levels at least for good quality of Turkish figs according to less available quantity, would be unrealistic. Yet, there is significant quantity in hand now as low quality or industrial grade in the market. This makes huge price difference in offered prices. Critical point is even low grade products would be paste or dices, its highly possible to experience quality issues with this export product such as microbiology, contaminations and so on. We may see in the future, falling prices only for this low quality industrial grade products. Turkish dried figs is characteristically darker and more mouldy berries this season, so we can recommend global buyers to purchase the needs for early summer enquiries from now on or contract them and demand packers to keep their stocks in cold storage.
According to European Union Rasff Portal, more than 20 lot has been boarder rejected from different EU ports, not only usual rejection cause of aflatoxine, but also ochratoxine, dead insects and abnormal smell which is linked to chemicals used in the Dried figs. Figure shows chemical using practices threatening food safety more and more in such year with quality issues.
Below Chart shows figures of Turkish dried fruits varieties tonnage, average export prices with its comparison with last year figures. Roasted figs figures new in the statistics from Exporters union which is using by coffee industry meaning as a conclusion of export quantity increased recent years, it is counted as a different product from general figs figures from now on.
When we check the export amount figures of Turkish dried figs country by country there are dramatic decreases on the export levels to Russia, Ukraine, Iraq, Portugal, USA, China, Canada and Spain. The decreases of export to these countries are from 60% to 80% comparison with the exports at the same period last year. The biggest importers of Turkish figs are still Germany and France and decrease of export figures is around 15% to both of these countries comparing with same period last season.
This season’s late first shipment date also affected the decrease of Turkish dried fig export as the remaining period until Christmas was very limited.