Dear Readers,

It has begon!!!!
January is the month where farmers, in South Africa, bring their first
loads of raisins to the various factories for sale.

In this respect 2017 is no exception than former years.

We have witnessed, the fact that farmers did pick up their empty bins
whilst others were bringing in the first loads of Thompsons already.
From experience we know that in some areas the crop is somewhat
earlier than others.

The above means that the new crop has started physically.

It will take however another week or two before we will receive the
first loads of golden raisins so that another start can be made to
fulfill the demand for Ramadan at the beginning of February.

As we have mentioned already in our last two bulletins, the
world market prices did not change for the better.
The Turkish Lira lost another 2/3 percent extra during the last weeks
towards the USDollar, which is not very helpful, to put it mildly.
On the other hand, no strengthening (price-wise) was coming from the
suppliers in Iran for goldens and neither from the USA for Thompsons.

In this complex situation South African farmers and packers shall have
to find a way to create a market for their various products, which
shall not be easy!
Of course and we have said it before, South African raisins can hardly
be compared with raisins from other origins for their taste, texture,
size and brightness and henceforth the product will, undoubtedly, be
sold at premiums over other origins. The question however is, how much
premium buyers are prepared to pay.

Nevertheless we all should be strongly aware that competition is
making big steps forward.

ATTENTION: there is always the uncertain factor called …….WEATHER.
Last week and now and then, this week it is raining here and there in
the raisin-areas . Nothing, as yet, to worry about but
surely it will cause some delay.