Together with the first careful signs of improvement of the world-economy, the raisin-market lived up as well in the early days of the new year.

In our December version we noticed already that the raisin-market felt healthy with good demand, specially for nearby and also more and more demand for the better qualities (read goldens).

As far as South Africa is concerned, we need a little bit more patience because the farmers just finished the last shipments of the fresh grape-period and the region will concentrate from now on raisins. Since a few days we received already odd quantities of new crop raisins. It will last a further two weeks before we will welcome the first serious raisin-loads of Thompsons, W.P.’s and Flames, followed by the first goldens.

Without any disasterous weather-circumstances, South Africa expects a good crop and prices for Thompson mediums shall run in the region of USD 2600/2650.- c.and fr.

In that way the South African Thompsons shall compete, for the greater part, with Chile which origin however seems to have a smaller crop than estimations from earlier on and of course California who are still offering prices between USD 2750/2800 per mton.
Whatever sort of prices are mentioned, they all make quite a bit of difference with the prices we hear from Iran resp. Afghanistan but those types should be seen as different qualities with different sorts of consumption/usage. Thus, in fact is of course not directly comparable

Goldens: if we judge this market for goldens properly, we must state that despite the fact that a lot of competitive offers/quotations are circulating through the market, for quite some time already, the first serious tonnages of farmersstock, coming from the farmers, shall most certainly be delivered not before the 10th of February. Henceforth one has to be cautious in respect of quality and thus in prices.

Buyers are prepared to pay good premiums for goldens but that means value for money and as long as we do not know whether we can speak about a top-quality, this year, one has to operate very carefully, in order to avoid disappointments, on buyers’ side, later.

Besides that, one other factor should not be forgotten: the period in which the packers can produce the golden raisins has been extra shortened because of the late arrival of the merchandise this year and that negative factor works out even more seriously when we realize that the period wherein the goods have to be delivered to the specific Ramadan-buyers is getting shorter, each year, as well.

The above means that only early deliveries stand a chance to expect good resp. premium prices. In this respect the situation is perfectly comparable with table-grapes. Only those fresh-grape containers which arrive in Europe early and mid December make the premiums.

We will keep you informed