Dear Reader,

During the last days of April, the news from California broke through that the young buds on the raisin-vines were starting to be active already and as a logic result, the blooming was on the point of starting, as well. All in all, insiders claim that the start of of the grape-season is at least three weeks earlier than normal.
As such, an early start is one thing but the same insiders claimed that the percentage of buds was reckoned to be about 17 percent less than previous year. Whether the decrease has to do with the shortage of rainfall in winter, the lack of irrigation or simply a cyclical reaction on the large crop of 2013, is unclear.
It is obvious that the information of an early start of the season and even a foreseen shortfall of 17 percent does not mean that we have to foresee a small crop.
If mother nature will come with good and regular rainfall, through the growing-season, together with pleasant temperatures and enough sunshine, it could still result in a fairly sized to a good crop.
We surely cannot deny the serious remarks about the situation as it is and have to respect the knowledge of the farmers who have worked their vineyards for many years but by the same token let us not be too pessimistic.
For good order’s sake: we must state that the month of April and the first week of May did not bring the long-expected rain, as yet.

Should the crop in California indeed be importantly smaller than last season, so far the information was broadcast that Turkey seems to be expecting a very good crop. The feared frost did not hit the raisin areas in the district of Izmir and chances seem realistic that California and Turkey are exchanging the crop-results of last season.
Anyhow, if the latter will indeed have a very good crop, there are no serious reasons to expect a market which could be jeopardized by an unbalanced situation between supply and demand, at least not for Thompsons and Thompson-like raisins. In other words, no reason to expect, in the near future, sharp rising prices for the latter.
According to the latest information the new crop from Turkey lies in the vicinity of USD 1950.- per ton for number 9.

South Africa: the intake is now finally finished and looking back one can say that it was a difficult crop. Logically a lot smaller in comparison with last year.
Besides that, the crop was importantly later than the year before. Frost at the beginning of the season and too much irregular rainfall at the time of harvesting did not really bring the quantity, as was had hoped for.
Nevertheless, because of the carry-over of last year, South Africa was still in a position to ship substantial quantities of mostly Goldens and Thompsons.

The availability of this years ‘goldens was very limited, unfortunately.
At least for triple A qualities!!.

According to the latest news, Australian vineyards were heavily hit by rains and as a result there seems to come a lack of availability of the light coloured Five Crown Sultanas.

For the moment this is our last information about this season’s crop. Should there be any exiting/important news about the two biggest suppliers, we shall keep you posted.