The situation in the raisin-world is getting more clear by the day.
Getting close now to the peak of the intake-period in South Africa, it becomes apparent that the crop is importantly bigger than most insiders expected in November/December.
Was the general idea that we could look forward to a crop of 40/45.000 tons, today nobody has any doubt that total the crop shall be widely over 50.000 tons.
What kind of influence will such increase have in the overall raisin-market, is still hard to judge.
Why is it hard to judge?
To start with: it is logic that the surplus from South Africa might compensate a great deal of the earlier-mentioned short-crop in Chile, preventing prices to rise.
To show, on the other hand, the complexability of the market: neither from Chile nor from South Africa, there are any Jumbos available. The demand for jumbo raisins (Thompsons) is pretty big (to say the least) but with hardly any offers around, we feel that buyers have to pay a premium of USD 100/200 per ton over the current price of Thompson mediums (USD 2650) to find Jumbos, if any!!
It is good to remind that 1-2 years back Thompson Jumbos made still a discount towards mediums of USD 100/200.- per ton!!
The same applies for GOLDEN Jumbos and Bolds. Although the crop is big and there seem to be more than enough mediums, for which the price came down strongly meanwhile, there is a permanent shortage of Jumbos and even of Bolds.
As long as there is a much bigger demand than supply for the latter, we do hardly expect any decrease for these two grades. On the contrary, we would say.
The above shows how specific the demand from the market/industry can be and which can result in being totally out of proportion with the supply-side. Think about Orange River raisins: years back, buyers used to pay premiums up to USD 800/900 over Thompson mediums. Today farmers hardly make any O.R.’s anymore. The interest is not there and prices, which buyers are prepared to pay, do not justify all the extra work to make a nice O.R.
What does it learn us?. It learns us that we can no longer just speak about raisins in general. In case the price plays the most decisive role, buyers/purchasers can always find a product on the world-market which complies, in the end, with their specs.
However, if buyers wish to receive a specific product, the whole year around, with its specific flavour, texture, shape, grading and the lot, he is more or less obliged to inform his packer about his wishes long before the next season starts.
Summarizing: one should not just compare one type/sort/quality with the other, let alone prices.
The current situation learns us that each specific type/quality has its own price/market and an extra factor is the speed in which the new crop can be delivered.
The market in March/April/May is a different one than the summer- or autumn-months.
since Iran is in a position, due to the very weak Rial, which lost meanwhile abt. 70 percent of its value, to offer its golden raisins medium about USD 800.- per ton cheaper than the best offer for Thompson medium raisins, repeat THOMPSON raisins, it is clear that due to these circumstances, the raisin-market is getting in disorder.
It is obvious that the market as a whole has taken advantage of these cheap offers and even if the quality, in some cases, cannot be compared with those of the traditional supplying countries, such situation, caused by political- and consequently by currency-influences, buyers use such opportunity to pick a certain share of it and decrease, in this way, their overall purchase-levels.
With most of the crop in the barn in the coming day10 days, we can surely make up our mind now and in case of interest we await your orders.
We will keep you informed.