As we indicated in our last bulletin, the first new crop raisins will be delivered during the last week of January.
In the very beginning the farmers come in with small quantities (5 to 10 tons) but traditionally this pattern (normally) changes quickly in the days/weeks to follow and can show, very soon, deliveries/quantities, from one farmer alone, of 40/50 to even 100 tons, not to say 200 tons.
The above means that in three weeks from now we suppose to have enough raw material available to start the 2014 production.
From what we have heard and seen so far, the quality of this years’ raisins is good because after the frost-problems during September of last year, the weathergods have been pretty accommodating.
Although one swallow does not make a summer, we may state that taking this positive outlook into account, raw material prices which have to be paid to the farmers, shall hopefully turn out reasonably.
In this respect, the softer Rand also plays an important role to keep prices within acceptable levels and competitive in respect of other supplying countries.
This applies in the first place for the darker types of raisins such as Thompsons, W.P. and O.R’s.
A different situation can be expected for goldens.
Farmers are aware that the top South African goldens are still strongly appreciated in the international market, to put it mildly and as a consequence, we expect them to negotiate at quite different levels for goldens than for Thompsons O.R.s’or W.P.s.
Because the portion of goldens was, last season, more than abundant, so to say, we expect that the supply of goldens will, this season, be more in line with normal demand and consequently they will not be offered cheaply.
Next week we will visit the factory resp. the farmers and then we know what the outcome (price-wise and quality-wise) will be.
In case of interest please do not hesitate to be in contact.