Dear Readers,

During the last weeks, there was not that much of activity in the world of raisins.

Just to get, according to us, the right picture of the market, we request you to read again our last article of september 26th in order to get again the proper feeling..
Since then, we know that most of the packers, specially in South Africa, were litterly sold out and we all are waiting what the new crop will bring us.

Having just left this year’s Sial behind us we still do not have the exact feeling as far as raisins, specially Thompsons new crop, are concerned.
Here, in Paris, where most of dealers, packers, purchasers were assembled, we hoped that it would become clear what the various suppliers (China, Chile,Turkey, India, Iran and the lot ) should ask for their new crop resp. for their remainder of their current crops.
Overall, the idea comes to us that most buyers, specially from USA, are, for the greater part, interested in a Thompson medium quality, from South Africa or any other origin.

Meanwhile we have to state that it is common knowledge that the Californian bargaining commission have proposed already prices for the 2018 and the 2019 crop. Altogether this means that they will pay the farmers USD 2150 per ton.

It was not that long ago (2016) that they paid farmers a price of USD 1100.- per ton. Can you imagine!!
In fact they doubled the price and what is most astonishing…..: the cutting of vines still goes on!!.
Having the above in mind, we have to wait and see what South Africa will bring this year.
We have been recently in South Africa, to inspect the new crop with our own eyes and came to the conclusion that sofar the bunches on the vines are OK. There has been a period of cold days in the region which tempered the growth but meanwhile temperature etc helped a lot to catch up with the delay. Nevertheless it is too early to get a good picture. Only during January we will know what farmers and packers finally negotiate on goldens and thompsons.
A lot, may be most, shall depend on the level of the Rand against the Dollar in January.
Next to that we should not forget that prices for Thompson were, the past season, extremely high and it is hard to believe it is almost impossible to catch up with thesae levels another season. There is no need for it.

Putting things together, it is obvious and we stated that already earlier that the buyers for Thompson medium will be there again.

The question is: will the farmers in South Africa make enough Thompsons or do they reckon whether there is still a good demand, with good/solid prices for golden medium and jumbos? How favorable will the crop be? We realize that the total acreage of raisin-land is still on the positive move. Nevertheless all kind of serious questionmarks cannot be filled-out. Until we get the feeling which side the market seriously is going we will have to hold the cards close to our breast.
OK just to mention quotations: according to our crystal ball the market for thompsons medium
should vary from usd 2750 and 2950, whereas Golden mediums shall float usd 100/300 dollar higher.

Wait and see.
Let’s be frank: for South African farmers two months before starting the cutting (at the earliest), it is too risky for them to give out any prices. Let alone for packers, at this stage, to mention any quotes or offers.