December 5th  2014
Reason enough to inform you earlier than expected.
The fact that RBA in California announced to pay a better price than last year, to the bulk of the growers (US 1775,- per ton), has given a new incentive to the raisin-market and speaking from history: a rise in price normally goes quicker than the other way around.The reason of this proceeding by RBA has also to be seen as a serious support/protection against the big crop in Turkey and consequently much lower prices, making it impossible for the packers to be competitive in the European market. Besides that: with an average of 2/3 percent annual decrease of acreage over the last decade, it means a total crop-shrinkage of meanwhile 20/30 percent. This has to be considered as very serious for the years to come..The fear is that such shrinkage will go on at the favor of almonds etc, which brings the farmers simply much more income. Again, this is something to keep in mind.
Were the potential buyers/purchasers so far sitting in the waiting-room because prices of Thompsons and sultanas seemed to remain pretty low, with the feeling that eventually they (the prices) could go down  the drain even further, the news from California caused an eye-opener to several bigger buyers to take action and among them also USA buyers who were, all of a sudden, convinced that they rather buy cheaper abroad than from their own country-men.
The consequence of such event is mostly a quick turn in thinking resp. looking differently to a market. As a result we see now that Turkish farmers/sellers are holding back and by doing so other suppliers do neither feel the need any longer to be too eager to sell.
Anyhow: the market for Thompsons and sultanas has turned upwards. This is meanwhile a fact.
An important question is: what will happen in the months to come? The answer can only come from Turkey, being the biggest supplier at present.
As long as they do not feel much pressure from California there can hardly be found any good reason to decrease their prices even though it opens the door more widely for Iran.
South Africa:  farmers in South Africa will only bring their merchandise to the market somewhere in January/February and Chile in March/April. Between now and then a lot could happen.
Nevertheless, there are sellers/quotes in the market for Thompson mediums on or around USD 2200.- c+fr basis and for Golden mediums around USD 3100.- per metric ton c+fr basisi. It is really hard to give exact prices because the question-mark is:  what can happen from now until January/February when the goods finally will start to get under the roof. (There was already a hailstorm!!!) and secondly what will happen with the RAND in the 2-3 remaining months.
We do not have the answers for these factors?
The above does not mean that we are not in the market as sellers. Of course we do.. When buyers come with serious enquiries we shall always try to make a fair offer, taking the circumstances at that specific moment into consideration.