Most of the product from West Africa arrived now i....
Most of the Macadamia crops are in and committed w....
The market for Turkish hazelnutkernels is stable a....
USA: it is very hot in California at the moment an....
Due to the hurricane Harvey with a lot of rains an....
The market of cashewnutkernels remains in a squeez....
There is no news in the field of macadamias. Deman....
The walnut season is around the corner and will st....
There is limited demand in the market still. Facto....
The crop in Mexico is not very good and therefore ....
The July shipments were again new records and conf....
The Turkish government announced their buying pric....
The market of cashewnutkernels is in a wait-and-se....
As good news from origin is not to be expected thi....
Due to some question marks on the new crop from Me....
Yesterday the shipment report came out again. The ....
The cashewnutmarket is not very active at the mome....
Last week the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) a....
Prices for Brazilnutkernels are going up again a b....
Prices for USA Pecannutkernels are stable. Not muc....
The trend of increasing prices, which started earl....
The weather forecasts for the next 10 days keep on....
We didn’t see a lot of activity on the European ....
Prices of cashewnutkernels are moving in a small p....
The situation remains unchanged. There is a lot of....
Prices are a bit under pressure as demand faded aw....
Not a lot of movement is seen on the Turkish marke....
Chile, the only actively offering origin at the mo....
Cashewmarket is a bit dull at the moment. Suppl....
The signs of a difficult macadamia year in terms o....
USA: the current availability of pecannutkernels (....
The quality concerns about the remaining Turkish h....
The Almond market remained quite dull during the l....
After a long period in which Chile enjoyed the sta....
What to report on the market of cashewnutkernels? ....
Prices on macadamia kernels have risen sharply ove....
Prices on Brazilnutkernels eased a little bit, not....
The low demand on nearby positions hasn’t improv....
While the almond market appeared to be in a quiet ....
Cashewnutkernel price came down a little bit due t....
The volumes in the macadamia market are very limit....
USA: Prices of pecannutkernels remain stable but e....
The situation on the Brazilnutmarket remains very ....
A crop estimate on the Turkish hazelnutcrop of 670....
The general trend of short supply on a global scal....
The prices of cashewnutkernels remain high and wen....
There is not a lot to be said about the macadamia ....
USA: Market is stable and processors in are proces....
After the first few months of the crop it became c....
The NASS crop estimate has been released by the US....
After months of yoyoing prices the Turkish market ....
The Chilean export market has been operating succe....
All signs for a good apricot crop are green as the....
What to write on the market of cashewnutkernels. I....
The season is finally picking up some speed. Austr....
With the NASS crop estimate approaching, which wil....
Last week we reported that TMO decided to interven....
The eyes of most European buyers seem to be set in....
Prices for Brazilnutkernels are continuously incre....
We wrote in our previous report that the market of....
The past weeks macadamias were quite a hot item. T....
We have seen several remaining stocks ourselves du....
The environment in which the trade of Turkish Haze....
The availability of brazilnutkernels remains very ....
The market of cashews remains a bit of a rollercoa....
The first new crop arrivals in South Africa are de....
For the first time in weeks we’ve seen some acti....
The failure of the Brazilnutcrop (possibly due to ....
The prices of Pecannutkernels are more or less sta....
The Turkish hazelnut market remained stable during....
The latest weather conditions in California suppor....
The prices of RCN are still very firm (in Asia and....
Demand for NIS from China continues to be strong. ....
The yo-yoing of the Turkish hazelnut market contin....
As the US market is basically committed for the 20....
While the nut business in general is facing a lot ....
The market of cashewnut kernels remains tight. Spo....
It is good that we can update you from source. We ....
The market of Brazilnutkernels is very difficult. ....
USA: most of the crop is sold and in hands of the ....
Prices of Turkish hazelnuts came down significantl....
Eastern Europe: the situation basically remains un....
After the upwards spiral in pricing during the end....
The price for cashew nut kernels remains high for ....
The situation in the macadamia market is pretty un....
The brazil market is unfortunately not getting eas....
The market for Turkish hazelnuts stayed relatively....
We still haven’t witnessed a lot of movement fro....
While the almond market has been in a downwards sp....
The market is searching its way! Will it go up aga....
Last time there was an increase in interest visibl....
Almonds continued to be the “best buy” of the ....
For the first time in weeks, we have witnessed a v....
The market of Brazilnutkernels is very difficult a....
A stable market. Most of the raw material is bough....
The record levels of the USD/TLR rate triggered a ....
Prices stabilized but it is hard to find offers fo....
From the demand side, there has been strong demand....
The high prices at the end of 2016 crop resulted i....
The crop is for approx. 95-97% sold to the process....
After the high shipment figures of the past months....
The situation with pressure on available product f....
The Turkish hazelnut market has been driven upward....
The Turkish hazelnut market finished 2016 at an ex....
The California Almond board released the final shi....
Walnut exporters in the Eastern European regions w....
The factories have been closed for Christmas for t....
The cashewnutmarket has been calm for the past wee....
The hazelnut market remained firm during the past ....
The market of European walnuts seems to be in a sm....
The market for Brazilnutkernels is not very easy t....
Due to heavy demand for inshell pecans in the fiel....
Demand for macadamias seem to be picking up with p....
Review of the 2016 crops: The ....
While the pressure was expected to be reduced on t....
The market for Almonds showed her strength last we....
After a period of increasing prices, persistent fa....
Last market report we already spoke about some sma....
The prices for Pecannutkernels are just going up a....
The smaller factories have already finished produc....
The situation in the macadamia market remains unch....
The market went up during 2016 from levels around ....
Most of the product from West Africa arrived now in Vietnam and stocks in the port should be sufficient for the coming months. The remark to make is that quality of a serious volume (reports are >100.000 Mton RCN) seems to be bad and processors have little interest to buy this RCN as the processing costs will be high, but first grade kernel recovery is also very low.
Top packers are having stock themselves of good quality RCN but the question mark is how many months’ worth of processing this stock covers. Needless to say that with the very high prices for RCN (and kernels), how much can be financed and hence how much RCN is in stock, remains uncertain…..
Will it be sufficient until new crop from East Africa will arrive, i.e. February/March.
We doubt it and remain concerned on the general cashew market. We expect the gap to widen between top packers (who are having their own stock of good RCN and hence can supply good quality kernels within international specifications) and small(er) packers sometimes face two issues : a- they battle to buy high priced RCN for financial reasons and when having processed the purchased RCN, need to sell the kernels swiftly to turn the money around, and b- they battle to pack first grade kernels within the international standards as the raw material was not sufficiently high quality.
The question is how stringent the buyers will be the coming months, as the lack of sufficient good quality kernels may indeed cause the gap between high quality and regular/mixed quality kernels to widen.
And additionally, will in the coming months more offers for 2nd and 3rd grade product come to the market, and what shall be the effect of that?
Because of these observations we would recommend to be covered until end of the first quarter of 2018 from first class shippers, even though one may pick up some cheaper containers from smaller packers in the coming weeks, as sales may take place under pressure.
Most of the Macadamia crops are in and committed while there still is a lot of demand for in shell from China and kernels globally. As most of the crops are committed this will not be an easy one as we also have to realise that it will take until June/July 2018 before the next main crops will become available to the market.
Fortunately crops worldwide are growing and we hope that the coming years this will give some relief and create a stability in the marketable quantity and stabilize prices as the current situation is difficult for a major part of the value chain. During meetings with farmers the past couple of weeks, even they voiced some concern about the prices, and the sentiment picked up was that there is certainly support to see somewhat lower prices for a more sustainable long term growth in consumption.
There are limited offers around, your inquiries are welcome and as always we will do our utmost to service you!
The market for Turkish hazelnutkernels is stable and sellers just returning from their EID holidays. Fortunately weather has improved and hopefully supply will start again in good quantities soon. Still the role andn influence of government to be seen. Some growers prefer to sell immediately and get the cash instead of wait for a long time to get their money.
The markets in Georgia and Azerbeidjan started as well but is different than Turkey as usually their yields are lower and therefore processing slower. Prices are available on request.
USA: it is very hot in California at the moment and this might have an impact on the early varieties and if the heat continues also on the later varieties. Harvest is expected to start middle of September with first new crop shipments during October. The NASS forecasted the 2017 California Walnut production at 650.000 tons, down 5 percent from 2016’s record production of 686.000 tons.
Eastern Europe: first walnuts (from Uzbekistan) will be processed shortly and ready for shipment during September. Other origins are expected to start processing during October with first shipments during October with the advantage that their transit time to Europe will be only a couple of days. Most processors are waiting how the market reacts on the NASS figures from California before offering prices. Some of the factories we work with already are able to provide some pricing, and we look forward to your specific inquiries.
Due to the hurricane Harvey with a lot of rains and flooding in Texas and Louisiana, processors became concerned about the total availability of pecans and prices for new crop increased. Beside the weather conditions, also the increasing demand (domestically for pieces for industries and for export on inshell pecans to China) is making sellers nervous and reluctant to offer forward. Prices for new crop (January shipment onwards) increased a couple of percent.
The market of cashewnutkernels remains in a squeeze. On the one hand, good supply of RCN (although of lower quality) and on the other hand limited demand pushing processors to offer discounted prices to get interest and sales in their books.
Over the last couple of days this changed a little bit as more and more of the remaining ‘reasonable’ quality is sold and buyers returning from their summer breaks showing some interest. Prices went up a couple of cents. It will depend on demand where prices will move to in the coming weeks. When good demand shows up for 2017 and early 2018 prices will go up further. When all buyers around the globe are covered and can wait until January we might see stability in the market.
To avoid ‘surprises’, we would recommend being covered until end of the year/February 2018 as new crop from West Africa will show up than.
There is no news in the field of macadamias. Demand remains strong and offers very hard to get and if any prices are extremely high. Our recommendation remains the same and that is to be covered till new crop and possibly even first new crop.
There is fortunately also some good news and that is that the quality is exceptional this year.
The walnut season is around the corner and will start shortly. First new crop offers are around and processing units are about to start. We can offer new crop from September shipment for Uzbekistan walnutkernels processed in Moldova. The main quantities from Eastern Europe though (Ukraine and Moldova) will become available during October. The crop in Eastern Europe looks promising while there are some concerns on the US crop affected by the adverse weather conditions over the past couple of months.
Consumers are getting more and more interest for walnutkernels and we are glad that world supply is growing in the various growing origins.
From India we received the following indications:
Offers from Eastern Europe and US are expected shortly and we would appreciate to get your inquiries to prepare you the best customized offers.
For those who interested, we have a small quantity (approx. 3 mton) Chinese Walnutkernels LH80%, 2016 crop, packed in 12,5 kg cartons at Euro 8,00 per kg basis FCA Holland.
There is limited demand in the market still. Factories in origin are closed and the coming 6-8 months product has to be delivered out of stock in Europe and US. This stock is limited and some buyers are forced to buy as they declare brazilnutkernels in their mixes.
Collectors will enter the jungle again in December/January. More on pricing and crops will be known during November & December.
The crop in Mexico is not very good and therefore offers for new crop from US and Mexico are firming. Also, the concern that the Chinese will jump into the market during October and November to buy inshell (Inshell Pecans are 2nd after Macadamias inshell which are not available anymore) will push prices up in the field most probably. It is our recommendation to cover first new crop shipments until February/March 2018 and hopefully dust will settle than as Chinese are losing interest as they need the product for Chinese New Year, and prices to ease a bit.
The July shipments were again new records and confirmation to processors and exporters the high interest worldwide for Almonds. This confirmation caused (again) an increase of price and reduce the carry over. The last crop forecast was at 2.25 billion pounds.
The Turkish government announced their buying price at TL 10 for Levant and TL 10,5 per kg for Giresun. This was quite a surprise as everybody was expecting them to be back in the market at a later stage and see what would happen in the beginning of the crop. Hopefully this buying price of government will create some stability in the market and promote hazelnut consumption worldwide. Harvest is in full swing as producers would appreciate to get as much crop in as possible before the EID holidays starts.
The market of cashewnutkernels is in a wait-and-see mode. Sellers are reluctant to sell too far forward while buyers do not want to buy now and hope for lower prices. The facts remain as written in our previous reports that there are good quantities of unsold RCN in Vietnam but quality is doubtful and prices high. The quality of the RCN arrivals from especially IVC in Vietnam is reported to be low. This could lead to the same situation as last year, wherein there was a shortage of the premium grades WW240 and WW320 during Q4.
Current kernel prices are not equivalent to RCN prices and somebody has to take the loss or……. wait for kernel prices to pick up again. Buyers still have open positions for the last quarter and those will be booked in the coming 4-6 weeks.
As the prices can turn easily and go back up again we would recommend covering until February/March 2018, also as prices do not move so much anymore and we might be close to bottom.
As good news from origin is not to be expected this season the market is moving in unchartered waters. Prices are at all-time highs if you can even find something and it is really a take or leave it. This situation is going to hold all the way up till at least May/June 2018 when first product from Malawi and Kenya is going to hit the market or Hawaii should bring relief and come with an exceptional crop, which is very unlikely.
We can only repeat our earlier recommendation and that is to try to cover upto July 2018 and perhaps first shipments from new crop.
Due to some question marks on the new crop from Mexico, exporters are a bit reluctant to offer new crop now. Prices for new crop slightly firmer and especially first new crop is offered at premium prices. Our recommendation is to be covered for December until February 2-18 shipments and await further developments.
South African crop is nearly sold. We might have an opportunity for some organic pecan pieces. Please advise if of interest.
Yesterday the shipment report came out again. The figures were according expectation strong resulting in an excellent year again. The domestic market remains very strong and 14% up compared to 15/16 season and the export markets also show strong YTD figures being 17% up resulting in total shipments to be up 16% up totaling 2.1 billion pounds. Prices consequently are firming a bit. It looks like July again was the moment to buy as it has been for a few years in a row. There is no reason for the market to move dramatically, but downward potential is very limited knowing that total availability is expected to be only 4% up.
The cashewnutmarket is not very active at the moment. Is this quietness before the storm or will existing RCN volume in the ports of (mainly) Vietnam be sufficient to fill demand? The facts are as follows:
All West African (and India and Vietnam) crops are harvested and in the market.
Nearly all RCN afloat from West Africa are ready for shipment, on route to Asia or already in the port of destination. We get reports from Vietnam that the quality of the RCN stock in the port of Vietnam is not good and will result in higher processing costs. A significant part of the RCN stock is in hands of Chinese traders who are/were speculating on the RCN prices but lacking the knowledge on quality controls on RCN. Besides the quality, finance remains an issue, especially for smaller processors in Vietnam who do not have the finance to buy RCN prior to selling some kernels first. This causes some slightly discounted kernel containers in the market every now and again.
Larger processors carry limited stocks, most of them for production till maximum end September. All processors expect higher prices from that time frame.
The expectation is that smaller (but also some larger) factories will either close doors or keep buying small parcels for processing. Since the quality of RCN arrivals is lower, RCN prices may expect to decrease slightly to reflect the lower quality.
Import volumes of RCN into Vietnam are up by 69% till date.
Export volumes from Vietnam for kernels for this year (Jan-June) are down by 4%.
The higher imported volume RCN could be seen as a strong sign/confirmation for larger volume available in Vietnam, and hence a strong potential for lower prices in the coming months.
But it may partly be explained by lower RCN crops in Vietnam and Cambodia combined, and the kernel output is estimated to be lower from a lot of imported RCN and also locally grown RCN were of lower general quality.
Also, the pattern of imports is different from previous seasons due to different shipment months from both East and West Africa.
Only at the end of the import season, the final totals can give more clarity on the total volume.
Vinacas reported an anticipated reduction on export volume of 5-7% estimated.
Is slow for the time being. Lot of buyers in US and Europe are enjoying their summer break and will be back middle/2nd half August. Also, the Chinese are expected to enter the market the same time. It will depend on this demand -combined to the supply of course- what the market will do. Will buyers all at once jump into this market then prices are expected to increase.
When demand will remain limited, prices might come down a bit more although somebody (the trader or the processor) has to take a loss as prices for RCN are not in line with the current kernel prices already!
Our recommendation remains to buy ‘specials’ when they show up and have at least 50-75% cover till April 2018.
Last week the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) announced that the impact of cyclone Debbie earlier this year is most likely to be more significant. They stated the following: “Significant weather events have impacted the 2017 Australian macadamia crop harvest, and it is now anticipated that the crop may be some 5-10% lower than the industry forecast of 48,500 tonnes (@ 3.5% MC). The Australian Macadamia Society will issue an updated forecast in early August, once crop intake figures for July are finalised.” This figure is even more disappointing taking the increased estimate of March in mind, where a crop of 50.500 mton was announced keeping world production at stable volumes.
The crop in South Africa is currently slowing down and unfortunately there is not a lot of positive news to report. The crop remains short. The only positive note that can be made is the increasing volumes from the new growing area KwaZulu Natal. The quality of the crop is exceptional good here with even some deliveries over 50% sound kernel and hardly any unsounds. This is very welcome news as volumes from South Africa have been depressed for quite some time now. Let’s hope the 2018 crop will be something different and we hear from the field that the first signs at least our promising. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the development continues in order to start some product development and hopefully also some more reasonable prices for the years to come.
Kenya was hoping for some relief out of the small crop that they are having now, but the quality is really bad (10% SKR!) and the percentage of immatures very high. Even though prices for inshells seem to be reasonable with this quality it is extremely difficult to make a profit. It is therefore wise to work with the right partners in Kenya at the moment as this might cause some problems in terms of volumes and quality.
Demand for both kernel and NIS is still strong. It will be a really long run till new crop this time. NIS prices are extremely firm, but there is some resistance to push prices even higher. Kernel prices are still soaring and at all-time high levels. Even though it is summer time and a lot of buyers away there is still continuous demand. Our recommendation remains unchanged to make sure you are covered and hope 2018 will be better.
Prices for Brazilnutkernels are going up again a bit after we saw some softening, mainly for spot material. Main reason for the price increase is demand again picking up and processors realize that the yielding of the last lots in origin is bad and not giving the kernels as anticipated. So volume will be even less than last expectations.
It is our strong recommendation to cover your needs until new crop.
Prices for USA Pecannutkernels are stable. Not much quantity of halves to sell and factories committed. New crop offers are available and if of interest to you, please let us know so we can make you a customized offer.
South Africa is more or less sold out on inshell. This is all going to China.
The trend of increasing prices, which started earlier this month after the publications of a 2.25 million pounds crop, hasn’t settled yet. The actual figures from California in combination with the multiple advices to start covering (forward) positions have boosted the European purchases. As no relief is expected on the nearby period, our advice would be in line with the general trend to cover at least the nearby positions and follow the indications for the new crop closely.
The weather forecasts for the next 10 days keep on pushing the positive expectations for the new crop. Some refreshing rains are expected for the weekend, followed by sunny days to boost the development and drying of the kernels at this stage. The crop estimate from the Turkish Government hasn’t been published yet, in the meantime rumors of a higher than expected figure are spreading through the market. Without a clear buying strategy of the TMO, it remains to be seen at which levels the market for new crop will open. At this stage it is not advised to take forward action already, following the market closely is seen as the ‘most decent’ approach.
We didn’t see a lot of activity on the European market during June. While buyers tend to wait for offers from California at the moment, the last open positions from Chilean crop are being offered at discounted prices. Most of the available product seems to be in the hands of processors from other regions rather than origin, such as handlers from Turkey whom processed inshell material themselves. With the expected growth of the Chilean crop, planned to be doubled in the next five years, these routes (including hand-cracked in for instance Turkey) are likely to expand even further.
Although the Californian crop is developing well most suppliers are still careful towards forward offers. With roughly two months to go before harvest, there could still happen a lot to the new crop. At the moment, the number of warm days is quoted as a potential harm to the crop, as the risk of sunburned product is increasing. Time will tell whether these conditions will be of any actual harm to the crop, so far the US market is expected to open at frim levels and therefor something to be watched.
Prices of cashewnutkernels are moving in a small price range, depending on demand. When demand is gone, processors (especially the small packers) are discounting their prices to move product and get cash to buy new RCN. When we see (limited) demand, prices immediately react and increase a couple of cents. The bigger/first class packers are still at price levels around Usd 5,10-5,20 per lbs basis FOB for shipment during August/September.
Stocks of RCN in Vietnam are sufficient for the time being but we have to keep in mind that the stock in Vietnam and afloat stocks from WA, needs to fill the gap until the new crop of East Africa arriving Indian & Vietnam during end January/February 2018, i.2e. another 6 months. Stocks in WA are more or less sold and the quality of the remaining stock is deteriorating.
The situation remains unchanged. There is a lot of demand, but no offers and it is unlikely this situation will change. Therefore, we keep our recommendation to cover your needs till new crop if possible.
Prices are a bit under pressure as demand faded away. Stock in Europe is OK for the moment while stock in origin is very very limited and new crop only expected to ship 7-8 months. Sellers/processors from origin want to sell their remaining product, close their factories and books and prepare for the new season. Prices in origin around Usd 8 per lbs basis FOB while offers in Europe are between Usd 7,75-8,00 per lbs at the moment. Our recommendation is to buy hand to mouth for the moment.
Not a lot of movement is seen on the Turkish market. Availability of good quality kernels is very limited. The number of active processors is coming down. The quiet market in combination with TMO whom stopped making appointments with farmers, is resulting in a slow market. The total volume of the 2017 crop remains questionable, as do the opening prices of the market. The recent weather conditions are seen as favorable for the crop development, especially the heavy rains which refreshed the orchards and had a positive impact on the cleaning of the fungus disease.
Chile, the only actively offering origin at the moment, keeps on discounting prices as demand fades away. Especially for halves demand is very slow. This is caused by the high shipment figures in the beginning of the season where most buyers covered their requirements. While it is too early to predict the size of the crop from both Europe and California, buyers are focused on those origins for additional needs.
Cashewmarket is a bit dull at the moment.
Supply: the supply from West Africa is afloat and arriving. Good quantities are available in India and Vietnam for processing but prices stay firm. The availability in the producing origins is drying up and prices are increasing while quality is coming down.
Demand: is currently very slow. Most buyers are waiting and watching the market closely. Buyers are not nervous but aware of the ‘risk’ of quick turning around soonest demand will pick up. For the 3rd and 4th quarter still some coverage needs to be done.
Best advice is to benefit from good deals on the day to cover either nearby or Q3 & Q4 positions, and meanwhile stay focused on the general market as sentiment may swing the prices very sudden and very sharply due to several reasons (processors needing money -price down- or demand for RCN increases -prices up-).
The signs of a difficult macadamia year in terms of availability is becoming clearer every day. There are few reasons for this situation. Supply is simply not growing fast enough for the demand (read NIS demand). The demand for NIS remains very strong and prices extremely high. Shipments are arriving in China now and there is no indication for any disruption there. Prices are interestingly enough accepted by the buyers, which are about 25% higher than in 2016. A concern at the moment is the low quality that is been supplied to the end-consumer. Packers seem to accept lower quality and blend it in with good quality. This is mainly because the companies are trying to build a brand and do need to put some volume behind it. South Africa is basically the balancing factor as their quality is seen as the top-quality product in China. The quality from South Africa this season is exceptional with very low insect damage. Australia seem to be struggling with their quality this year, which might be a result of the wet weather conditions, but this is not confirmed. Other origins are also used to make the volume like Zimbabwe, Malawi and Guatemala. There is also very bad quality from Kenya that is smuggled out of the country. This product ultimately finds its way into the market resulting in poor product on the shelves. So far there is no backlash so it might be that we get away with it.
The impact of this strong demand from China is obvious. More packers around the globe have no other choice than to go and do a portion of NIS to be competitive buying the NIS from the farmers. Especially the product that fits the quality standards of the buyers, which is somewhere between 30-32% SKR. Consequently, prices for kernel are also increasing by the day meaning that higher SKR product is still better off as kernel. The quantity of this real high SKR is limited and mainly coming from newer plantations in South Africa and Australia.
The above described reality seems to find its way to the kernel customers now as well. Quite a few are obviously covered, but there is also still of product that needs to be covered as people were hoping for the market to ease. Our expectation is that this will not happen till new crop and therefore recommend covering your needs.
USA: the current availability of pecannutkernels (especially Jr MM Halves) is drying up. Most factories are committed for most of their volume until September/October and hope that new crop will come in then. New crop so far looks good. Carry over might be less than previous seasons while the total US crop is expected to be around the same levels. First indications on Mexico are that their crop will be down by 15-20%
South Africa: as noticed in previous reports, approx. 85-90% of their crop (10-15.000 mton in total) is exported as inshell to China. Only the smaller sizes which do not fit for the Chinese market will be cracked. Most of those kernels will be consumed locally and just a small portion will be exported to markets as Russia. Crop is coming in now.
The quality concerns about the remaining Turkish hazelnut stocks seems to be rising even further. TMO has rejected roughly 30% of the applications from stockholders to sell their crops last week. Updates like these keep on feeding the uncertainty in the market, pushing potential buyers into even more uncertain positions. The uncertain character of the market also moved the eyes of some buyers to the fresh 2017 crop, pushing the (hard to find) 2017 offers in an upwards spiral. Main reason for exporters to stay away from big forward positions so far is caused by the continuation of the fungus disease. Some exporters might be persuaded to reconsider these forward positions during the coming weeks, based on the favourable weather conditions as predicted for the nearby period. In opposite to the rainy June is July forecasted to have a lot of sunny days, which will stop the development of the fungus disease. Expectations at source are differing between 600K and 700K MT in total, keeping the market from settling down.
The Almond market remained quite dull during the last two weeks. The majority of contracts is based on the nearby period, long positions don’t seem to be taken into actual consideration yet. The Objective crop estimate made by the USDA, which will be released in a week from now, could be the game changer that California is waiting for. While buyers are crossing their fingers for a figure above the subjective estimate as released earlier (USDA 2.2 >-< industry experts 2.3 million lbs.) rumours are coming from sellers whom claim that the bottom line of the market is already reached. As mentioned in our last report is a further price decrease not likely, the reaction of buyers to the objective crop estimate will determine the continuation of the market.
After a long period in which Chile enjoyed the status of ‘only origin of interest’ seems this trend to be on its return. The rapid pace at which Chilean exporters have been selling during the past couple months started to decrease, resulting in first offers below the average market and eventually turning into a downwards spiral. In the meantime, the first European buyers showed interest for the forward positions on new crop from EU (including Ukrainian) positions. After some negative rumours of frost during the beginning of the crop are most of the recent updates of a positive kind. So far, no actual business seems to be taking place, but it is definitely something to be watched.
What to report on the market of cashewnutkernels? Prices of kernels came down a couple of % over the past weeks and currently are stable around Usd 5 per lbs (for WW320) basis FOB. Although there is no demand and buyers staying out of the market, prices of kernels did not come down further.
Very tightly balanced supply and demand will continue to show similar patterns for the coming months in our expectation. The reason for the recent softening is due to limited buyer demand combined with some processors needing cash for payments of new RCN arriving in Vietnam.
Any real demand may spark prices again and cause the kernel price to go back to ‘break-even levels’ on RCN procured from West Africa.
On the other hand, with limited demand and more RCN arriving, one may see a slight softer undertone for some weeks.
Fact is that prices for RCN are stable or again slightly firmer for good quality, causing concern for the kernel prices in the coming months (logically processors buying RCN at today’s prices shall wish to sell at least at parity on kernels). Uncertain is the demand in India, which may be why prices for RCN from Guinea Bissau are being pushed up, where WW320 parity would come close to historic highs of a few weeks ago.
On most other origins the quality is becoming less as we are coming towards the end of the West African cashew season in these countries.
Keeping the above in mind, our recommendation is to cover when special opportunities are shown as prices might increase again when processors become comfortable with their position (hence need to sell is out of the market) and when demand will be back in the market during August/September when big shipments are expected to fill in the end of the year season around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Prices on macadamia kernels have risen sharply over the last weeks. Customers became aware that the volumes are very limited and as such started to search for product. Earlier on it was expected that the growth would help supply, but the slight growth in production compared to last year is basically completely absorbed by China. Furthermore, there were no stocks left and new shipments were/are desperately needed to keep the market supplied.
The biggest threat, but currently also the greatest opportunity, is China and their incredible demand for NIS. Prices compared to 2016 are a lot higher yet there is still a lot of demand. Kernel prices cannot keep up at this pace, but are substantially firmer than in the beginning of the season.
A remark needs to be made that the Chinese market is focussing merely on Unsound Kernel and Size. As long as the product is around 32% sound kernel this is enough. This means only a certain portion of the crop fits this specification. In the new growing areas in Australia and South Africa in particular we see that meat yields and favourable style spreads (Wholes and Halves) are making the choice for NIS a bit more complicated.
During our strategical meetings with our South African partner it became crystal clear that the focus remains with kernel. Many other players seem to shift more to NIS and following the route many other nuts have taken before macadamias and we all know the effects. It would really a pity if macadamias would take the same path as prices are historically at all-time highs and a terrific opportunity to really start building strategic strong markets and have a healthy base for the years to come where product development will be needed to market the growing crop.
For our customers, we can only say that you make sure that you are fully covered till June 2018 and perhaps even beyond. There is very limited downward potential looking at current demand and we don’t foresee any carry-over into 2019 either.
Prices on Brazilnutkernels eased a little bit, not because of crop being better but just because some shippers are closing for the season and want to get their debts paid and need money offering a slightly discounted price to move the product. We usually (in a normal season) see this happening during September/October but now it is already in June. 2 of the biggest processors closed their doors already as they do not have any stock left for processing. We expect more than half the processor to finish for the season by the end of this month.
As voiced in our previous report as well, this is having an impact on their season financially but most of them seems to be strong enough to survive and be back next season. It is worse for the workers who will not have an income for the coming 5-6 months. They have asked for help of Bolivian government but this may not kick in before August time and not sure in what form and/ or sufficient it will be.
With regards to the new season it is hard to say what will happen. Because of today’s high prices, collectors and middlemen will be expecting high prices like this year, not understanding that today’s high prices had a big impact on demand. Buyers who are forced to buy to honor their current contracts, will not come back in the market when prices are this high and demand will fade away. Hopefully during August/September we will get the first indications on the new crop (quantity) and providing it is a normal crop we expect the prices to come down to a normal level based on 5 years average by next year. We will keep you posted.
The low demand on nearby positions hasn’t improved during the past two weeks. The continued weak demand resulted in a situation in which buying prices of TMO exceed the current price levels of today’s market. While the nearby demand doesn’t show signs of growth the concerns about the fungus disease are slowly but surely rising day by day. The enduring rains keep on feeding the uncertainty on the development of the new crop. The weather forecast as announced so far are not bringing any relief either, as the number of rainy days is expected to be twice as much as the days without showers till the end of June. Considering nearby positions could be a logical reaction to today’s market, we advise to keep in mind that these stocks are not offered to / accepted by TMO for a reason.
While the almond market appeared to be in a quiet mood the past month, are the May shipment figures showing more activity than expected. Next to the amount of shipped product is the number of commitments picking up, an increase of 22.17% for export destinations is published by the Californian Almond board. The crop development continues a stable route, supporting the indications of a slighter bigger crop estimate of the USDA NASS, which will be published during the beginning of July. Next to the crop estimate is the starting date of the harvest a hot issue. Based on the indications we received so far, the harvest is expected to start approx. two weeks later than the past couple years, which is supported by the increased number of commitments at the same time as well. The nearby market is not expected to fluctuate heavenly, a price increase is seen as more logical than further decrease at this stage.
Cashewnutkernel price came down a little bit due to lack of demand but stabilized thereafter. After INC (where a lot of people were predicting kernel prices to increase), the prices became a bit easier as demand faded away. We see 2 main reasons for the prices to come down:
What is -likely- to happen next?
Prices of RCN remain (very) high and even increased due to higher RCN prices in Guinea Bissau, linked to the forecast of rain in Guinea Bissau (which would be earlier than normal), one is left to wonder when kernel prices bounce back to higher levels again. Meanwhile lack of demand may allow prices to drop a bit further on the short term, but lack of physical stock keeps the market extremely tightly balanced.
Whereas a lot of buyers indicate that the current kernel prices are not sustainable at consumer level, it also seems that the entire price increase vs say 12 months ago, has been passed on to the consumer. That being the case, the logic of supply and demand is flawed, and as consumers may not ‘hurt’ from higher prices, demand may continue to grow even. So the current price relaxation seems to be a short term move, as the fundamentals under the market are quite unchanged. Buyers are uncertain to take position or not, since market can easily go up strongly, but maybe remains flat or a couple of cents lower. This phenomenon will likely cause the SPOT markets to remain very tight, empty and at a premium to FOB replacements. It can be expected that prices will tend to remain firm although discounted offers will pop up every now and again due to processors being forced to offer discounted prices to move SPOT stocks at that time. The coming months are usually quieter in Europe and the USA due to summer holidays (buyers being absent and hence less buying) and less packing for consumption going on.
The demand, and hence the shipments should pick up end July/early August to get product in, in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas sales which usually are the peak demand moments of the year.
Probably best would be to take cover when ‘special opportunities’ appear and be covered until end of the year for approx. 70-80% of your requirements.
The volumes in the macadamia market are very limited. Spot material is hard to be found and this not expected to change as all product that arrives is sold instantly. Over the last week demand from the US has also picked up. All in all it remains a very difficult market and is unlikely to change. The volumes going for NIS are growing resulting in a tight situation on kernel. Therefore, it remains recommendable to cover your needs till new crop. We have some limited spot product available and then in particular ingredient styles if of interest.
USA: Prices of pecannutkernels remain stable but especially the uncommitted inventory of Jr MM Halves is becoming limited. We would recommend to cover for this size until October 2017 as we have a better indication and first arrivals of the new crop than.
South Africa: offers for inshell are available. Kernel offers are not available yet as those depend on the inshell sales. In case you are interested in offers for inshell pecans, please let us know so we can make you a customized offer.
The situation on the Brazilnutmarket remains very difficult and a significant number of buyers took the product out of their mixes or even from the shelf as consumers will lose interest. When the packer/industry has a choice they will do this but a lot of industries (cereal bars, muesli etc.) do not have a choice as brazilnutkernels are an important ingredient for their product (as was reported in a Dutch newspaper yesterday as well) and they have to take the burden.
A crop estimate on the Turkish hazelnutcrop of 670.000 MT inshell has been announced during the INC convention in Chennai. Other reputable sources already revised this figure and added it up to 700.000 MT based on the favourable weather conditions of the past two weeks.
A note to make is the impact of the fungus disease. This is monitored closely and so far no extreme impacts have been seen to change this crop estimate.
The domestic market remains stable since the beginning of May. Last week a first slight price relief has been spotted. Demand slowed down a bit as most of the coverage for Ramadan requirements has been made.
On the other hand we saw the purchases of TMO increase significantly during the last two weeks. The purchasing criteria seems to be less critical than before, which is expected to attract some stockholding farmers to sell additional volume.
Whether the market remains quiet up to the new crop remains to be seen but it might be worth to wait and watch the market closely before covering forward positions.
The general trend of short supply on a global scale became once again clear during the INC convention in Chennai last week. The outcome of the main discussions in the field of walnuts could be summarized as a lack of supply of the Light and Extra light grades, combined with the focus on the Indian market as a fast growing export market. The Chilean walnut commission agreed on these developments. They presented Asia as their prioritised market, focussing on a steady demand for their increasing crop, which is expected to double in the next five years.
The Chilean market continues to increase prices, especially on hand cracked material.
Despite the high sales figures, Europe still seems to be uncovered on their US/Chilean stocks.
Some buyer are buying some of the remaining stocks from Eastern Europe as alternative for their demand. The risk on these products, as mentioned in our last report, became reality in some occasions.
Based on these limited options, the first fresh crop from Eastern Europe might be the first factor to bring some relief to the market. Following development from this region is there for strongly advised.
The prices of cashewnutkernels remain high and went up even further over the past 2 weeks. Supply and demand is not in balance and creating ‘shortages’ causing increasing prices.
Supply: the main supply of raw material is from West Africa for the moment as Vietnam and Cambodia are nearly finished. Traders from West Africa are increasing their prices and started to re-negotiate their cheaper priced contracts. Political issues in Ivory Coast and Guinea Bissau will have an impact on supply of raw seeds from West Africa keeping supply ‘short’.
Demand: remains good for the moment. The current higher prices for kernels are not seen in the supermarket yet and consumers still consider cashewnutkernels as a very nice and attractive snack. Spot stocks in Europe (mainly) but also in the USA are limited as no importers/traders are/were willing to bring in long positions, since the idea has been that prices could suddenly start dropping as demand and supply balance out again.
As buyers are expecting kernel prices to come down, they did not buy far forward and have to cover their short positions from spot or nearby shipments. A significant volume of kernels was booked when the market had a temporarily ‘drop’ and was at levels of Usd 4,35-4,40 per lbs FOB. Will those contracts be shipped from June-October is the big question mark? With the current raw seed market, processors most probably won’t be able to ship these cheaper contracts without making huge losses and will possibly be forced to sell new -and much higher- containers to balance their book, or (worst case) renegotiate their contracts (which is exactly what processors have to do to get delivery of their raw seed contracts).
A volatile market with a lot of uncertainties for the coming weeks/months. There is a strong need for the market to settle soonest possible as todays reality and prices will otherwise have a considerable impact on consumer demand, and that will cause a rollercoaster ride into the 4th quarter of 2017 and 1st quarter of 2018.
There is not a lot to be said about the macadamia market compared to our earlier reports. The market seems to be extremely short for snack grades and is unlikely to change positively as the stock positions are very thin (non-existent) and most new crop is committed. On the ingredient styles there is also more and more pressure and therefore it is recommendable to cover till new crop (till June 2018!). The only uncertain factor at the moment is China with the arrests that have been taking place, but so far it is not having any impact on demand as there are still a lot of enquiries going through the market. There are no offers available as we are still in the early stages and it remains to be seen what the quality looks like. First indicators are positive, but the recent heavy rains in the southern growing areas might have some negative impact. We are assessing this now. It will be interesting to see what people say at the INC conference. We will keep you posted.
USA: Market is stable and processors in are processing and shipping their commitments which most have been booked during the start of the new season, i.e. January and February. Due to this limited demand but good cover for the processors, not much news to be reported. First indications on the new crop will be available just after our summer on the northern hemisphere, during August/September.
South Africa: the new crop will become available shortly. Crop is OK and there is a lot of demand from China. Approx. 85-90% of the South African pecan crop is sold as inshell to China. This is mainly for the sizes oversized, extra-large and large. Smaller sizes are processed locally. Most of those kernels are consumed locally within South Africa and some are exported. We have offer available on request.
After the first few months of the crop it became clear that this year’s crop would be significantly lower than previous years. Factories had two options: either go slow and stay open for longer or run at capacity and shut early for the season. Most factories chose to run at capacity and shut early. This meant that shipment March – May is likely not to be significantly down on previous years. From June /July many factories will stop their production.
As the Brazil Nut market is relatively small, every price traded became the new level for the next factory to sell as minimum. Higher export prices achieved enabled factories to compete for raw material, paying higher and higher prices. As a result raw material prices are now nearly 4 times higher than the start of the harvest.
Export prices have reached a level where there are very divided opinions amongst the buyers: some buyers are no longer leaving it to the consumer to reduce demand but instead have removed lines from shelves or started amending recipes to lower brazilnut usage in mixes, whereas other buyers want to make sure that they have supply of brazilnuts and are willing to pay the currently offered prices, or up their bids in order to entice the factories to offer.
The NASS crop estimate has been released by the USDA, reporting about a total crop of 2.2 billion pounds. Industry experts already quoted higher figures in the build up to the estimate these weeks, speaking about levels of 2.25/2.30 million pounds. The decrease from the expected levels onto the USDA estimate resulted in a firming market, prices moved up with levels of roughly 5 cents per lb. As discussed in our reports during the last two months, the main driver for the actual figure is the increase of bearing acreage this season. The USDA estimate is counting on 1.000.000 bearing acreage (2016: 900.000) in combination with a yield per acre of 2.200 pound (2016: 2.280). The favourable weather conditions during March and April, seem to have encouraged kernels to increase in both size and weight. Next to Californian situation is also the estimation of the Spanish crop becoming clearer. While Spanish reports stated that up to 80% of crop was damaged by frost in the last week of March shows the latest estimate an increase of 26%, resulting in a total crop of roughly 45.000 tons.
So far Almonds didn’t get that popular as expected based on prices of other nuts, but the situation might be changing. Demand for new crop has been picking up, buyers are starting to cover their forward positions in order to make sure that they make use of the current market.
After months of yoyoing prices the Turkish market seems to settle down due to the involvement of the TMO. The guaranteed prices as published by TMO formed a stable base for stockholders and handlers. Also the upcoming Ramadan, which will start in less than two weeks from now, is keeping the domestic market from unexpected moves as most parties are buying and selling hand to mouth, considering a likely price drop once the Ramadan needs are covered. On the other hand, there are still exporters who need to cover their forward contracts, therefor a stable continuation of the market isn’t guaranteed.
The crop estimations for the 2017 crop took a hit after some heavy winds and cool weather, rumours of approx. 680.000 MT are spreading its way on the domestic market. A clearer view on the crop size will follow in two months. The behaviour of the TMO is important but an uncertain factor for further predications, covering hand to mouth can be seen as the most likely strategy these days.
The Chilean export market has been operating successfully from the start of the season on. So far, we do not see any firm reason for their cards to turn. Demand from Europe and South America appears to continue on a regular pace, China and India are indicated as biggest export market at the moment. Chilean exporters are well sold on the nearby positions, most packers are focussing on forward positions for July / August shipment. The current situation is not likely to allow any price drop in the coming months, sales are expected to continue at this pace, resulting in a totally vanished carry over. The situation in Eastern Europe continues unsettled. Frost has been witnessed a couple weeks ago in the Moldavian / Ukrainian border region, rumours from other regions in Odessa followed quickly. The impact on the crop development seems to be minor, but triggered the buyers to start following the developments in these regions. With the price development of the 2016 season in mind, it remains unclear at what levels the market for 2017 is likely to open. The spot market for this origin is frankly speaking closed, quality of last remaining stocks is doubtful, even when stored in the appropriate conditions.
All signs for a good apricot crop are green as the risk of frost is basically over. The information from origin is pointing towards a 150.000 mton crop. This means there will be sufficient apricots for a good season at attractive prices. Prices for new crop have eased quite a bit and are at a discount of current crop. Demand is expected to be healthy at current prices levels. Offers are available upon request.
What to write on the market of cashewnutkernels. It remains very very difficult and so far, it is hard to forecast the coming months. Everybody in the market was expecting prices to ease during the 2nd half of 2017 but the opposite is happening, prices for cashewnutkernels are becoming firmer nearly every day at the moment. This is for whole grades as well as for pieces.
Supply: the fact is that the crop in Vietnam and Cambodia is down by 30-50%. The 2nd and 3rd crops in West Africa are question marks. They might reach the quantity of last year but the quality/yield is less than last year, causing higher production costs and lower yields, i.e. increasing kernel prices.
It is not only causing increasing kernel prices, but also the price of raw seeds (even it is down on quality) is increasing. As the gap caused by the damaged Vietnamese and Cambodian crop will not be filled up by W-Africa, the only hope is for good crops on the southern hemisphere by the end of the year (this will only be 20-25% of total world supply).
Demand: there is continuous demand in the market for significant volume. Buyers were awaiting the prices to come down and only covered hand to mouth. Now most buyers realise that the market will remain high priced and cover a couple of months forward, but are still afraid to cover position until the end of the year as the hope is that the African crops might give some relief later on.
Because of the uncertainty, we recommend covering up to 80% of your requirements until the end of the year.
The season is finally picking up some speed. Australia and South Africa have started harvesting and the drying bins are full. It looks like the season is a bit later for the early varieties and funny enough earlier for the late varieties. This is causing some interesting situations at the factory. The quality in South Africa so far is good. The product is a bit bigger in size, which is the opposite of the past season where we also saw a higher percentage of Style 4R or 4S. For Australia there is not much to mention. They have also started harvesting and we hope the impact of cyclone Debbie was limited. In Kenya there is some concern about the crop, which is apparently short and could cause some problems as quite some forward bookings were done.
On the demand side we see good demand for all styles. On the snack styles the situation remains very difficult and this is most likely not going to change. There is still quite some covering to be done. On the ingredient styles we also see increasing demand and here there is still some room although it differs very much per processor as we there is still concern on the amount of product that will be shipped as NIS. It is clear that a lot of exporters are challenged to do more NIS as the returns are still a lot a better. On the contrary, most processors don’t want to go this route as the risk is also much higher. 2/3 weeks ago it looked like we were heading for a similar season as 2015 when there were also arrests in China. This time a big player was caught and his factory closed because of importing through the grey level. We however believe the fundamentals are quite different and demand from the final consumers still very good. This is also seen in the response from the market where quite a few customers approached factories directly and stressed to use the legal routes into China. This is at the end of the day a good development and decreases risks on the long term.
Over the years the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) has done a lot of work in promoting macadamias in Asia recently and also achieved better import tariffs for Australian product. It finally looks like their South African counterpart (SAMAC) is following suit by signing a MOU with the Specialized Committee for Nuts and Roasted Seeds of China National Industry Association (CSNC). China is a crucial market for South Africa especially for NIS and China the other way around is also strongly dependent on South African product which is seen as the preferred origin for inshells. It is good to create a more square playing field. South Africa is heading for considerable growth and therefore it is good to build strong partnerships.
Our recommendation remains unchanged. It is wise to cover your needs till new crop. Availability will remain an issue for macadamias for 2017. For 2018 we trust the situation will get a little bit easier and give opportunities for product developments again.
With the NASS crop estimate approaching, which will be published 11th of May, the almond market decreased to even lower levels. Although almonds were likely to become more attractive based on the upward movement in the field of a lot of other nuts such as cashews, we haven’t witnessed an increase in demand (yet). So far the new crop seems to be developing in a confident way, no weather extremes such as storms or droughts are seen, neither expected. If the NASS will report another bumper crop, the Californian industry might be tensed to start filling their books on the new crop, which could indicate even further reduced prices. At this stage our advice is to wait for NASS report, but keep in mind that more demand is expected if lower prices are quoted due to a bright crop estimate!
Last week we reported that TMO decided to intervene the market by buying stocks from the local market. The market firmed directly after the publishing of the TMO buying prices, as a lot of buyers tried to get their needs booked via regular channels. The peak in demand vanished quit rapidly as well, market eased in a couple days to the levels as before the TMO confirmation. Right now, two weeks after this news, the purchasing conditions are still not clear, resulting in a lot of stockholders moving towards the private market. It remains unclear which quantities TMO will buy, it is for sure that a lot of material which is sold to TMO has been mixed with old crop. Next to the TMO is also the crop development still an unclear factor. Frost has been reported in black sea regions at levels of 800 meters, general temperature in May hasn’t been ideal for the fertilisation period. Although some rumours enter the market about a lower 2017 crop our advice is to follow the market closely and await the crop reports later (end of May/June) as it still too early to make any hard predictions.
The eyes of most European buyers seem to be set into other directions than walnuts these days. While the US stocks are fully committed and no decent quality can be expected from the 2016 EU crop, the Chilean industry is in the meantime selling at a rapid pace. The general Chilean market started to come down slightly, but a closer look shows us that it’s mainly the new players whom are trying to fill their books with lower offers. The expected increase of the Chilean crop for the coming years could be seen as a legal factor to declare the high level of competition among exporters. The current situation is perfect for these exporters to enlarge their customer base, a strategy in which buyers search for the ultimate price is seen as beneficial. On the other hand we advise to keep in mind the high sales figures, which result in high risk on the long positions.
Prices for Brazilnutkernels are continuously increasing. The crop failure is really having a big impact quantity wise and price wise. There is no spot product available in the market. Packers are adjusting their nut mixes where they can as supply is a big problem. The nuts brazilnut offers from origin are very scarce and continuously increasing. We heard levels over Usd 8,00 per lbs already, this is even more expensive than macadamias!
We wrote in our previous report that the market of cashewnutkernels is a rollercoaster and this is again confirmed over the past days. While we were under the assumption that the crops from West Africa would fill up the gap the damaged Vietnamese crop would give, the latest information from West Africa is that the 2nd and 3rd crop might have issues as well and be less than expected. When this is the case, the prices of raw seeds will remain firm and might be even firming in the coming weeks. This is concerning news knowing that most of the demand for the 2nd half of 2017 still has to be filled in.
The past weeks macadamias were quite a hot item. The cyclone in Australia was a bit of a shock, but the first signs are that the damage might be limited. The crop however is coming in rather slow and as such it is very tricky to give a firm estimate. The Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) downgraded the crop from 49.500 to 47.500 mton (1.5% Moisture) for the moment. This is only 4% damage, which is quite positive. Time will tell whether this true, but fact is that there is some damage and that there is even less product available.
The news from South Africa is also not very clear. Last week there was some concern in especially Levubu that the crop might even be worse than 2016 and the main growing area in Mpumalanga was possibly also a bit disappointing. Others however inform that the crop is looking quite good in Mpumalanga. The crop in KwaZulu Natal is looking healthy and will be the main driver of growth for 2017.
The situation in Malawi and Kenya is unchanged.
The demand for kernel is getting stronger and there is some concern whether there will be sufficient product to supply all customers with the snack styles. For the ingredient styles the situation is a bit easier, but also here interest is growing. On NIS demand remains strong, which is quite interesting since there have been some new arrests in the Linan area. This is like the 2015 season, but the fundamentals in this market have changed and we see more demand from final customers that have different policies and do not want to use the grey route. These customers are still desperate for product.
All in all, it is recommendable to cover your positions, because the supply situation will remain tight for 2017 season. Even though, it might be difficult to find offers as it is still early in the season (factories only just started processing) and there are quite some uncertainties. Therefore, it is crucial to monitor this market closely to make sure you get what you need. We are more than happy to assist you in this search.
We have seen several remaining stocks ourselves during our presence in Eastern Europe last week. The difference between the well stored and frankly speaking fully committed stocks in comparison to the last (very limited) uncommitted material was remarkable, and once again verified the fear of European buyers towards new contracts during this time of the year. The strategy of some reputable buyers, which involves covering the annual needs in September via call of contracts from reliable facilities for the follow op of the season, has worked out well for the 2016 crop season.
The US market keeps on chasing records, the March shipment reports noted another all-time high for the total shipments during March. Both the monthly figure (+29% in comparison to 2016) as the year to date shipments (+26% in comparison to 2016) have increased significantly. If shipment figures continue at this beat, the 2017 carry out is likely to dry up completely. Although the Chilean shipment figures are not as detailed as the California Walnut Board, it is clear that this origin is selling at rapid pace as well. Some suppliers already reported to be fully committed on the inshell product, the time of the kernel market is logically behind, but following steady as the supply from other origins is basically vanished.
The environment in which the trade of Turkish Hazelnuts is taking place has changed dramatically. The first rumours started spreading its way through the market after the tweet of Faruk Çelik, (Turkish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock) about the active role of the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture in terms of purchasing of hazelnut kernels. Yesterday morning these rumours have been confirmed by the TMO including the inshell buying prices which they will handle. Prices for Giresun variety have been announced at TRY 10,50 per KG and TRY 10,00 for Levant. The market responded directly on this news and prices jumped of 4-5% instantly. Although the link between this crucial decision and the timing of the Turkish referendum is disputable, it is more than clear that the landscape of the global hazelnut market will be effected by this development. In order to form a clear view on the actual impact on the 2017 crop, we need to await further announcement regarding the detailed purchase requirements of the TMO including crop year, quantities and the sales of these stocks.
The availability of brazilnutkernels remains very difficult. Here and there you can find a pallet but prices are well above Usd 7 per lbs already. The difficult situation will remain until the new crop (middle 2018). It will not be a matter of price in the coming months, but of availability.
The market of cashews remains a bit of a rollercoaster.The one day sellers are discounting their kernel prices as they have no demand and buyers are gone while the next day, some demand shows up for limited quantities and prices immediately increase a couple of cents again.
Raw Cashew Nut (RCN) demand is almost as volatile, whereas there is a lot of rumours that impact the sentiment in the market.
The facts (and rumours) at the moment are as follows:
1.The crops in West Africa are reported be good with the biggest producer Ivory coast reporting a crop over 800.000 mton of raw seeds – rumour.Fact may be that the crop comes in somewhat lower on volume and quality due to rain damage.
2.The crop in Guinea Bissau is 3-4 weeks earlier so shipments from this producing origin are expected to start during April/May – fact. Demand is high and price may hit all-time highs.
3.Prices of raw seeds have eased a bit in various origins in Africa and are now stable – fact.
4. The Vietnamese and Cambodian crops are questionable on volume and quality. They are definitely less in volume compared to last year and quality is reason for concern in some areas – fact. This is having a negative impact on the supply for very short term, supply of RCN to the processors will only reach some sort of saturation point when the shipments from West Africa will come in in significant quantities – fact.
5. The prices of kernels are moving on demand at the moment as written above – fact.
6. Most buyers are covered until May and will be in the market with new inquiries for June 2017 onwards – fact or rumour ?
7.Most buyer are expecting prices to ease from June/July onwards – fact….but will this happen ?
Keeping all the facts in mind, our expectation is that prices will remain firm probably slightly longer than earlier anticipated because of the crop issues in Vietnam/Cambodia but that generally prices will come down during the 2nd half of 2017 when enough raw seeds from West Africa (approx. 40% of total world production) will arrive in India and Vietnam. We do not expect prices to fall below Usd 4 per lbs (for WW320) again but will be between Usd 4,15-4,50 per lbs (for WW320). Our recommendation therefore is to be covered until July/August and be patient a bit for later shipment positions.
The first new crop arrivals in South Africa are delivered to the factories. Crop certainly looks better than last year but not expected to pass the 50.000 Mton NIS mark this season.
Australia is hit by cyclone Debbie which has caused some damage in some of the main macadamia growing areas. The considerable rainfall over all macadamia growing regions following the cyclone might hinder harvest which is now underway. Some reports are indicating a crop loss between 8-10% but we have to be patient for another couple of weeks before this will be known/confirmed.
The Australian Macadamias Society reported as follows:
“The Australian macadamia crop has been affected by Cyclone Debbie and recent severe weather and is likely to be revised to around 52,000 tonnes @10% moisture (48,750 tonnes @ 3.5% moisture), the same as the 2016 crop.
While growing regions like Bundaberg in QLD and the NSW Mid North Coast appear to have been largely unaffected, there has been some crop loss in both SE Queensland and the Northern Rivers of NSW and varying degrees of erosion and tree damage/loss in those regions.”
The continuous demand for all styles is causing price increases, especially for nearby/first new crop shipment positions. This is caused by relatively empty pipelines in the consumption countries. Also, the heavy demand for
Nuts inshell from China continuous to put pressure on the farmers/exporters to sell more Nuts inshell. The Chinese (predominately Inshell) market continuous to grow, but since this is the only Inshell market, one must ensure to focus on building the general kernel market, as the world-wide crops will grow significantly over the coming decade which means new buyers and markets must be developed.
For the first time in weeks we’ve seen some activity for Eastern European walnutkernels. Although most buyers are reluctant on buying the remaining 2016 Eastern European crop, we did receive several requests.
A great share of the remaining Eastern European crop is in the hands of traders. Processors in Eastern Europe are focussing on the purchase of, and preparations to crack, Chilean inshell walnuts.
First loads from this route are expected during the end of May in Europe.
The Chilean market for walnutkernels remained stable over the past two weeks. Some first relief is seen on the later shipments, i.e. June and July shipments. This price relief could indicate a first burst in the strong position of the Chilean suppliers. We will keep you posted on further developments.
The failure of the Brazilnutcrop (possibly due to El Nino) is creating big problems for the processors in origin, for the traders and for the buyers (packers and industries). At the moment it is not only a question of price anymore but a question of availability. Numerous inquiries from all over the world come to our office and unfortunately we have to advise them that we cannot offer. We are supporting our long term customers wherever we can.
This situation is not expected to change until the 2017-2018 crop will become available, usually during December/January. Many customers asked us if collectors could go further into the jungle to collect nuts but this is not the problem. There are no pods with nuts!
Prices from origin are varying between Usd 6,70-7,50 per lbs basis FOB depending on the packer and availability. As it will not be a matter of price but availability we unfortunately have to recommend buyers to check how they can limit their demand and work through this season as we hope that next season supply will be back to usual.
The prices of Pecannutkernels are more or less stable. The US crop is bought and shipped as inshell to China or in the hands of the processors. It is not expected that a lot will change in this market until the first new crop signs will be seen around July/August. Smaller halves are scarce and recommendable to cover while buyers have to work with a lead time of 4-6 weeks before shipment as especially the industrial market in US is using a lot of pecannutkernels at the moment.
The South African crop will become available during June/July. Due to heavy rains, some varieties might have some quality issues. The majority (up to 90%) of the crop will be shipped as nuts inshell to China. The remaining part (not suitable for the Chinese market) will be shelled and mainly sold domestically.
The Turkish hazelnut market remained stable during the last two weeks.
There was, and still is, a lot of 2015 crop offered in the domestic market. The price gap between ‘old’ 2015 crop material and the current crop (2016) product seems to widen step by step.
This trend is likely to continue as several reports are writing about a good 2017 crop development and interest will concentrate on current crop and new crop (to avoid risk of quality issues on 2015 crop product).
The 2017 crop is a little late (about 3 weeks). The positive point on this is that the frost damage becomes limited. Turkish stockholders, both farmers and middleman, are expected to return to market based on the fact that the main excuse to stay of the market (frost damage) is disappearing.
Our recommendation is to follow the market closely and only consider nearby positions.
The latest weather conditions in California supported the positive predictions for the 2017 crop. The spot market reacted with a slight price decrease. Some handlers/traders offered some loads just below the market to get some commitments in their books. The market is expected to continue on a more or less stable route for the coming weeks. First official new 2017 crop estimate will be next month, as the NASS estimate will be announced on May 11, 2017.
The prices of RCN are still very firm (in Asia and Africa) where we expected them to ease now with the first West African crops coming in. According the information we receive from the various producing origins, crops are mostly a bit late but otherwise OK, although we received a report his morning stating that unseasonable rains in Binh Phuoc (Vietnam) might have a negative impact on the 2nd blooming stage, and in Benin it is rumored that the Harmattan winds have caused flowers to die on the trees. Reports from Ivory Coast are showing a very good crop potential, but the question will come if Harmattan winds have had impact there too. There is strong interest for first new crop shipments from Africa, especially March/1st half April distiches. These are mostly hard positions since a lot of RCN is still in the drying process or in hands of local traders that anticipate higher prices.
Kernel demand at the moment is very slow, especially for 2nd quarter 2017 shipments. This lack of demand is causing kernel prices to ease a little bit and some offers are available around Usd 4,60-4,70 per lbs basis FOB. Is this the turning around point is a question mark. The RCN afloat or to be shipped shortly are still very high priced and the equivalent WW320 price should be around Usd 4,55-4,60 per lbs at least. This product will be processed in April/May and become available for shipment June/July. Do processors need to accept losses and hence sell at lower kernel prices, or will kernel prices remain firm and buyers around the world will adjust their price ideas? Some processors are convinced that prices will jump back up when demand will show up again in a couple of weeks’ time.
Our recommendation remains to be covered for the 1st half of 2017 shipment. Spot stocks in Europe and USA are very limited and premiums are paid. When your calculations allows, we also would recommend to take a partly cover for the 2nd half of 2017 up to 25-30% probably.
Demand for NIS from China continues to be strong. China is buying from all producing origins, even when it is not allowed to export NIS (as for example from Kenya).
As such there might occur a ‘shortage’ of kernels. Wholes will be the first to become limited available and it might later on also be the case for style 4, 5 and 6.
This is not the case yet, but we see strong demand and a growing uncertainty amongst processors what to choose. Sell NIS (and get on the short run a better return) or invest and expand on kernel sales while your market is bigger than just China and with the fast expanding crop (bumper crop in 2018??) expand your customer base.
In the enclosed figure you see the price development for 2015-2016 for both Style 1 and style 4.
As you can see the development for style 1 is more volatile than for style 4. This has mainly to do with the strong demand for whole nuts worldwide, but we also feel that there is a limit in the price.
For 2017 we don’t expect prices to ease for style 1. For style 4 we have seen a pretty stable price. There has been sufficient demand for this item. The same goes for style 5, which is seen as a tailor-made product for many ingredient buyers. Volumes of this item however are very limited as most suppliers only have a natural style 5 (some call it 4R).
The yo-yoing of the Turkish hazelnut market continued during the last two weeks. Farmers at origin are seen as the main driver for the climbing market. Farmers are trying to get rid of the last 2015 stocks while processors are not interested. Supply of 2016 crop is limited and therefore prices went up.
Observing the latest updates on the 2017 crop, the expectations for the new crop are good. A number of reports from origin mention a very good flowering in combination with a decent pollination, should result in a good crop. Latest updates are indicating a crop slightly above 700.000 MT.
With the yo-yoing market the short term is hard to predict. The current political situation is not helping either, as the rate of USD/TLR is yo-yoing as well!
As the US market is basically committed for the 2016 crop, the Eastern European suppliers not offering due to the lack of raw material, are the eyes of buyers on the new crop from Chile.
The Chilean industry witnessed a lot of interest during the last two weeks. Both the kernel as the in shell market are very active in terms of inquiries. Although a lot of demand is around, a significant number of buyers are still reluctant to book business, waiting for better prices.
The Turkish in shell market for example, which is known as an important importer from Chile, is not eager at the current levels (up to USD 4,10 per kg) for in shell varieties.
Chilean sellers claim that the market depends on the Chilean walnut crop while buyers claim that Chile will need to improve on their prices to sell the record crop this year.
Last week we have seen a slight increase of prices, a clear indication that Chile is not willing to move towards buyers comments/purchase interest, at this stage.
While the nut business in general is facing a lot of uncertainty and rising prices, the almond market is moving in a stable price range. Prices have been relatively stable during the two last weeks and no serious movements are expected on the short term.
Indications for the long term are driven by the weather situation in California during last weeks. The conditions were not perfect during the blooming period but based on the increase of bearing acreage still a good crop is expected. No further price relief is expected. It is our recommendation to cover hand to mouth for the moment until more is known on the new crop.
The market of cashewnut kernels remains tight. Spot stocks in European and US warehouses are very limited and prices remain firm.
Supply: processors are reluctant to buy RCN without selling kernels as most players in the cashewnut market are still convinced that the prices of kernels will come down when the supply of RCN will flood the market. This is keeping the market of kernels short.
Prices of RCN in West Africa are very firm, as there is limited stock available (as it is still early in the season) and a lot of buyers try to buy parcels for immediate shipment (and fast processing). Farmer prices are at all record highs, and this bodes for a very difficult season since a price decrease during the season may cause total mayhem in the market. Those procured RCN will be shipped shortly from West Africa to India and Vietnam to be processed. This will take approx. 4-6 weeks, i.e. available for processing during half April/May onwards. The kernels out of those RCN will be available for shipment during June 2017 from India and Vietnam to be available in the US and European market during July & August. Processors are forced to buy at the current firm prices and cannot sell at a discount to today’s kernel prices without taking a loss!
So it is becoming a ‘chicken and egg’ story:
– Will the farmers/traders lower their prices first (most obviously will not happen shortly)?,
– Will processors discount prices (most probably not as they have to accept losses then)?,
– Will buyers stop buying (they can’t as they have contractual obligations)?,
What will happen when RCN prices finally start to come down to levels that are related to the balance between world supply and demand ?
Demand: generally still continuous to be strong, even though there are reports that demand is going to be down due to the higher consumer prices. Buyers are reluctant to take forward positions as they are afraid to sit with high priced inventory as and when the kernel market starts coming down. Strategically buyers keep on buying hand to mouth and keep feeding the kernel market with steady demand. The higher prices in the supermarket will have an impact on consumer demand but the real figures on this will take another couple of months.
Keeping the above in mind, we recommend to take a cover at least until June/July and probably up to 30-50% for the rest of 2017.
It is good that we can update you from source. We have been travelling through Kenya and South Africa meeting processors and growers to get a better idea about the crop. This together with the latest updates from Australia is giving some answers to the current situation. Let’s first have a look at the crops.
After quite positive reports from Kenya this needs to be rectified. The drought is causing problems and has a negative impact on the size of the crop. Besides that, also the Chinese demand is a concern in Kenya even though they are having a ban on exporting NIS. Last year 3.000 mton of NIS was exported through Tanzania, whereas they don’t grow macadamias there and likely a big portion (if not all) is coming from Kenya. The hunger of China is definitely not stilled. We understood that they are more active and the industry not having an official opening date for the season is cutting itself in its fingers. Even though it is understandable that you want flexibility the fixed date was at least securing the crop to come in mature. Now we see that small-scale farmers that are keen for money are harvesting their product rather early resulting in high percentages of immatures. All in all, we expect lesser quantity from Kenya to hit the kernel market.
If we then look at South Africa the signs for the size of the crop are looking slightly better although unfortunately not back to 2015 levels. The northern growing area Levubu had very good rains over the last months, but that will only have a real effect on 2018 crop. For Levubu we expect a slight increase. In Mpumalanga we hear many different takes
on the crop as there was some rain in certain areas, but in others there was hardly any till December. Anyhow with the new plantings coming into production we do expect a healthy growth here compared to 2016, but we don’t
expect it to be back to 2015 levels. For KwaZulu Natal, which is basically the new growing area, it is looking a lot brighter. They had timely rains and it looks like we will see an increase in production over there, but the impact is relatively small as most trees are still young. Will this automatically mean we will have more kernel for 2017? This is unlikely. The demand for NIS is very strong and looks like is going to take a way a fair portion on the crop.
Lastly Australia, who reported a crop of around 50.000 mton (1.5% moisture content) and as such healthy growth of about 4%. Not everybody agrees on this figure, but let’s hope it is true as the industry basically needs the volume. Also here more product is expected to be allocated to NIS, but Australia is also having a strong focus on kernel domestically and new markets (Asia), where they have a great advantage because of the Free Trade Agreements. This is a great achievement of Australia and putting them ahead of the pack in this growing destination.
Let’s go back to the NIS. At present prices are overheating, but there is not much that can be done on that. Fortunately, not all product can be send as NIS so we will have certain volumes available, but the slow approach from in particular the US is in our opinion not the right strategy and could cause supply difficulties later on. Europe is slowly but steadily buying and the same goes for Asia. The continuous demand of the past months caused a price increase for snack Styles (Style 0, 1 and 2) while the prices for the industrial usage (Style 4 and smaller) stabilized as you can see the figure. Therefore the gap between snack and industrial Styles increased again.
All in all we recommend our buyers to have a good look at their needs and start covering at least 50% of it.
The market of Brazilnutkernels is very difficult. Each day prices are going up. There is some raw material available but prices are going up. It is for sure that the crop is down because of El Nino. The indications we get is that the crop might be down by 40-50%. This will have a serious impact on the supply and cause further increasing prices unfortunately.
USA: most of the crop is sold and in hands of the processors. A lot of the product is committed. Prices are stable and not much fluctuations are expected. Pecannutkernels become more and more popular in the US for industrial usage and I picking up with the European bakeries as well.
South Africa: due to the weather conditions, crop is expected to be smaller but also have more defects. Most of the South African crop is sold as inshell to China (approx.. 85-90%). The smaller inshell nuts are processed into kernels and mainly used domestic. We have some quantities on offer for halves and for pieces. In case of interest, please advise.
Prices of Turkish hazelnuts came down significantly. The sufficient availability of old crop in combination with the poor demand and weak position of the Turkish Lira, are the main drivers for this price drop. Also reports indicating a decent pollination of the trees so far which should set a good 2017 crop are helping the prices to come down.
New crop report of the Turkish Exporters Union will be published within a couple days.
It might be an interesting moment to cover your positions until new crop at current levels and watch the new crop developments closely to make a call on new crop in the coming months.
Eastern Europe: the situation basically remains unchanged. Buyers are reluctant to buy from Eastern Europe due to quality issue rumours while suppliers want to limit their risk as well by only selling readily available tested and approved product. There are ‘reasonable’ offers available for average quality while tested and approved product is much more expensive.
The speculations on pricing at the Gulffood exhibition triggered the Chilean market to start offering on an active bases. The first offers were in line with the expectations in terms of pricing. Expectations of the actual crop remain positive.
First containers of SERR variety are planned for end March shipment. Chandler variety is likely to follow during the end of April.
Based on conversations with several suppliers, the Chilean industry still has a confident attitude, they are expecting a good season ahead.
Our expectations of this market will become more clear after the general grower meeting, which will be held this week. Feel free to send us your inquiries so we can make you a customized offer.
After the upwards spiral in pricing during the end of February, because of the bad weather, it looks like the market has settled itself. The impact of the heavy rainfall is still unclear. Reports from experts at source differ in terms of actual crop damage. The pollination is the main driver for further market/crop forecast. The pollination conditions so far haven’t been really good and this could be an indication that the expected bumper crop (based on bearing acreage) will not show up. The current conditions are in our opinion taken into consideration already in the current prices though could cause some further upwards movements of prices when those rumours gets confirmed.
The price for cashew nut kernels remains high for whole kernels in store and on nearby shipments. Most of the packers from Vietnam and India are fully booked for the March and April shipments, caused by a limited quantity of RCN available forcing the processor to process on lower capacity. First new crop Raw Cashew Nuts from West Africa (Nigeria, Ghana and IVC) are bought and offered by traders at very high levels. Most of the Vietnamese processors are reluctant to book at these levels as the kernel buyers expecting the market to come down based on the actual crop forecasts for the Northern Hemisphere Crops. All in all a very interesting situation wherein buyers continue to buy kernels for their small term needs at high prices and prices expected to ease when sufficient RCN is coming into the market from April onwards.
The situation in the macadamia market is pretty unchanged. Demand for NIS remains extremely strong. This continues to be a threat for the kernel market. There is no parity between NIS and kernel prices at this point. Looking at the demand for NIS this is also not expected to change in the short future. Demand for kernel is picking up, but it is still very early. It will be interesting to see where prices will go. In the past years we have seen that kernel prices have reached their upper limit with demand fading away especially for style 4 if prices move up too high as is visible in the graph.
On the supply side the market seems healthy, but kernel supply is likely to decline because of more product allocated to NIS. We repeat what we wrote before. It might be wise to have a look at your needs and take some forward cover especially for the first shipments.
Next week we will be travelling to South Africa and Kenya again to get a better view on the supply side. We will keep you posted about our findings.
The brazil market is unfortunately not getting easier. Stocks are very small and it is still quite a while to go before new crop product will arrive. Short shipments are the main reason for this and caught a lot of importers by surprise. It doesn’t really look like new crop is going to bring any relief. Raw material prices in origin are firming by the day due to incredible competition. There are hardly any offers from the factories since they are uncertain about the quantity and quality. It looks like a market where it is wise to book your early needs if possible as prices can currently only go one direction and that is up.
The market for Turkish hazelnuts stayed relatively stable during the last two weeks. Most processors seem to feature enough stocks in order to cover their contracts for the nearby period. The snowfall which is covering a great share of the growing regions has triggered a lot of speculations regarding the new crop. Nearby forecasts are seen as the most important driver for assumptions at the moment, as the blooming is most vulnerable for weather extremes during this period of the year. Demand as per today seems to slow down, decreasing TL/KG prices are equalized by the USD/TL rate, keeping export prices more or less at the same level.
We still haven’t witnessed a lot of movement from Eastern Europe. While some urgent demand is filled step by step, buyers are reluctant on covering any further positions. Next to the firm price levels buyers have been scared by the presence of unsure quality these days. The low availability of crop has forced processors to look into other directions for raw material, allowing low quality and incorrect stored stocks to enter the market. Although demand is pushed down by these factors, the market seems to continue firm on the nearby position, as exporters realise that there is still half a year to be covered.
With the Gulfood starting next Sunday, the eyes of many buyers are moving from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere, where approx. 90.000 MT of Chilean walnuts are becoming mature. With many reputable sellers from California fully booked for the 2016 crop, the Chilean industry seems to be confident on the start of their 2017 season. The exhibition in Abu Dhabi is expected to result in first price indications. Please get in touch for our latest updates, we are happy to work on a customised quotation.
While the almond market has been in a downwards spiral since the start of 2017, we’ve witnessed a first breach from this trend last week. The heavy rainfalls in California made many sellers at origin to withdraw from the market. This event is reflected by increased selling prices, both at source as deeper into the distribution channel. As for today, speculations make their way throughout the market regarding the actual damage at the Californian orchards. While some say that supply for 2017 took a hit, others are doubting the actual damage and the event of exaggerated updates which are driving the almond market upwards.
The market is searching its way! Will it go up again/further or will it stabilize and come down in 6-8 weeks from now??
Supply: The current supply to the processing units is from Tanzanian raw seeds. The volume is significant but will only keep the processing units busy for 4-6 weeks (when all processing units are in operation). After that the processors are depending on the Vietnamese/Cambodian crop and after those crops the West African crops which will start to arrive July/August. At the WCC in Singapore we understood that the Vietnamese crop is delayed by 1 month but in potential 10-15% better than in 2016. The West African crops are reported to be good as well and thus supply should not be an issue during 2017.
Currently prices for raw seeds are varying very much. We hear prices from West Africa around Usd 1500-1650 (for shipment April/May!!), Tanzania still above Usd 2200 per mton and all kind of prices in between. Supply will remain short in the coming months until the crops from West Africa will start to arrive.
Demand: In 2016 we have seen a continuous (as the years before) growth of demand until the 3rd quarter. From the 4th quarter on we heard some reports about a slight decline in consumer demand due to the increased consumer prices. Cashewnutkernels are still a preferred nut, but there is obviously a limit in terms of pricing. Therefore, the slower consumer interest might have an impact on demand of importers and packers during 2017. Hopefully prices will stabilize shortly so that the slowdown of consumer demand can be compensated with special consumer offers.
Due to the ‘short’ supply (spot market is ‘empty’ and no shipment until middle of February because of TET holiday) we expect short term prices to increase. When the Vietnamese crop will start to come in during end March/April this should stabilize and when the West African crops will start to arrive -2nd half 2017- we expect prices to ease.
Last time there was an increase in interest visible from both kernel and NIS buyers. This trend continues and the interest for NIS even intensified in the last week as buyers returned from Chinese New Year. Available good quality inshell product is limited and therefore it is not expected that this will change unless prices stay within reasonable levels. The Chinese market still seems to have a taste for macadamias, which is also fuelled by the fact that there was very little available this season. This strong NIS demand might have an impact on kernel prices. NIS prices are from a farmer perspective far more profitable. The gap was getting smaller in 2015, but in 2016 this gap widened again. It is obvious that not all product can be send as NIS as quality specification are more stringent than before, but the larger product will be in great demand. There already rumours that Chinese buyers are also active in Kenya and Zimbabwe to get more volume. This business is quite dodgy as Kenya still has a ban and the quality from a considerable portion from Zimbabwe still not upto standards. The appetite from China for large product inshell product is most likely going to have an impact on available style 0 and 1 product. This is already product where demand exceeds supply and this could further develop.
In the past season demand for style 4 and 5 was slower after record shipments in 2015. Demand is stronger than in 2016 when inventories were high. This is not the case this season. At first most demand was for early shipments, but there is also more interest for later positions now.
From a supply point of view sellers are hesitant to book to large volumes. It is still early and there is some concern about the crops. South Africa is looking better than 2016, but how much better strongly depends on the performance of the main growing area Mpumalanga. There were rains, but were they in time? Farmers are a bit conservative after the disappointing development in 2016 and as such it will be interesting to see what happens in the next month. We will visit South Africa early next month when things should be more clear. Malawi is having another difficult year. There are also some concerns on the crop in Kenya.
It is our recommendation to start looking at your needs and do the necessary bookings. We are keen to make you tailormade offers from various origins.
Almonds continued to be the “best buy” of the treenut market the past two weeks. Rumours of several warehouses in Europe stuffed with California almonds are spreading its way through the market, keeping buyers away from rushed purchases at the current price levels. If we combine this situation with the weather reports from California, which show positive circumstances for the trees so far, the almond market is not likely to increase the coming weeks. Although the urge doesn’t seem to be there for quick action, we advise to consider covering short positions as a further decrease is not expected from this point either.
For the first time in weeks, we have witnessed a very small relief on the walnut market around the Eastern European and Ukrainian regions. As most suppliers have felt the lack of buying interest from the start of 2017 on, it seems some smaller suppliers are getting nervous and don’t want to miss opportunities by overpricing their goods. This relief is only seen by a couple smaller players so far, the reaction from the buying side will determine whether more suppliers will follow. Furthermore, the presence of good quality product in the market is still to be seen, making the continuation of the market till the new crop hard to predict. Some expected the general market to slightly decrease from this point on, others expect prices to increase again after the first business at lower price levels might encourage the stock holders to keep their prices firm.
The market of Brazilnutkernels is very difficult at the moment. Supply of inshell nuts from the jungle is very limited and prices are pushed up.
Spot availability is also limited while this has to fill the gap until new crop, expected to start shipping April/May. It won’t be an easy season and our recommendation is to cover when you can although it will be difficult to find offers.
A stable market. Most of the raw material is bought from the farmers and in processors hands. As quite a good volume is sold already, we do not expect major changes in this market on the short term.
The record levels of the USD/TLR rate triggered a lot of buyers during the beginning of the year to cover their needs. As a result of this situation we see a lot of activity between Turkish exporters and farmers at the moment. The current market prices, which are close to USD 7,- per KG for natural 11/13, are boosting the activity on the local market. With rumours coming from other regions such as Georgia and Italy of almost vanished stocks, the Turkish stock holders are starting to reconsider their positions. Some exporters fear another stubborn reaction from the stock holders, which could result in a tensed situation for exporters with contracts for February, March and even April obligations. The uncertain continuation of this situation multiplied by the fact that the Turkish hazelnuts are currently considered as the cheapest origin result in our advice to cover your nearby without hesitations. The pollination reports, as expected by the end of February, will provide us with a better indication for the long term positions.
Prices stabilized but it is hard to find offers for prompt shipments. Due to TET holiday (Lunar new year), Vietnam will be closed next week and will only start shipping again 2nd / 3rd week of February. Large whole kernels (240 grade and bigger) are nearly impossible to find.
Everybody is awaiting the (reportedly) good crops from the Northern Hemisphere and hopefully this will give some relief to the prices. Crops in West Africa so far look decent to good, even though it is early days.
The Vietnamese crop will be delayed due to some adverse growing conditions earlier in the season and only time will tell what impact on the crop size it had. Cambodia seems to be the surprising producing origin this season with a very good crop coming up.
Current price levels for raw seeds are reflecting the current kernel prices and factories working at break-even or small loss to fulfil commitments. Therefore, prices of raw seeds must come down to give a relief to the kernel market.
Hopefully the producers and traders will be aware that current high kernels prices will likely have a negative impact on demand. It is essential to keep supply and demand somewhat balanced during the coming 12 months, which would mean that RCN prices would have to come off somewhat to encourage buyers to push Cashew kernel sales again.
The longer-term estimation is that RCN supply will continue to grow and demand must go up to sustain good prices to all players.
From the demand side, there has been strong demand from the US in the past 2-3 weeks, but it seems to somewhat slowdown. It needs to be said that there is also not much product to be offered for prompt shipment. Enquiries for new crop are coming in. Prices are firm and especially for first shipments not expected to ease. Europe and Asia are mainly looking for Style 0 and 1 and this is something to watch as there is only limited availability and processors want to keep their books square to also be able to choose for NIS, which is currently more profitable. Demand for NIS is still very strong and prices firm. It is our recommendation to consider booking your first shipments on all grades, because even though supply might be higher compared to last season, inventories are low and some contracts have been rolled over and will get priority on shipments.
After the joint marketing program in the UK there was always that idea to work closer together getting people more aware of this beautiful product. But it seemed rather hard to really get things going until now! The INC announced that up to Euro 200.000 is available for the Macadamia Health Research to enhance the understanding of the health effects of macadamia nut consumption. Research priorities include comparing the effect of a macadamia enriched diet vs. a control diet on insulin resistance/secretion, lipid profile (total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides), and other emergent cardiovascular risk factors, e.g. inflammation, oxidative stress markers, etc. including the evaluation of the effects of macadamia nut consumption on adiposity. The contributors are South Africa, Australia, Malawi, Kenya and Brazil. It is good to see the industry moving into this direction as it is an industry crucial to work together to keep the macadamia in the premium segment even with growing volumes that are expected in the relatively near future.
The market on its own is also changing and new products are launched. Macadamia Milk and Macadamia Butters are picking up interest. The macadamia is a great ingredient for all sorts of other products and giving a real premium edge to the product.
The high prices at the end of 2016 crop resulted in a high raw material price for the new crop. As factories at the end of 2016 shut early they have started this season well financed and ready to purchase. This eagerness alongside rumours that the crop could be short has pushed raw material prices up further. Shippers at origin are currently withdrawn from the market. When they return we expect that prices will have increased.
The crop is for approx. 95-97% sold to the processors. Therefore, it is expected that prices will stabilize around todays levels. Prices were pushed up as demand for raw seeds was significant. Also, the demand from China for inshell nuts increased although that market is covered now for new crop and expected only back in the market for Chinese New Year 2018 (out of the 2017 crop). Huge domestic sales are keeping processors busy. It is our recommendation to be covered until June/July at least.
After the high shipment figures of the past months, the European market seems to be temporally saturated. We have seen prices from origin decreasing from the start of 2017 on, lower qualities such as STD 5% seem to be less affected. Since the current market is not driven by extreme factors, people fall back on other more undefined indications, such as the positive weather conditions in California for the next season. It stays to be seen whether the decreasing trends continues during the coming weeks. Our advice is to follow the market closely and don’t feel rushed covering the nearby positions on the other hand if you have a need and it fits you have to remember that almonds are at the moment the best buy in the basket of Treenuts.
The situation with pressure on available product from Eastern European regions still holds. While most buyers were awaiting supply to pick up during the past two weeks, a great share of the suppliers from origin is still off the market. Although this should naturally result in increasing prices, the market has stabilised due to the fact that buying interest is weak and uncertain under the current conditions. The actual available product, which is expected to become clear during the coming weeks, will brighten the situation for both the short and long term positions. At the moment, the reduced presence of high quality product from Eastern Europe seems to influence spot prices for USA product, as reflected by slightly increasing selling prices from European handlers. Nevertheless, prices are not running sky high since buyers take a more restrained attitude and prefer to stay careful with long term positions till Chile becomes active.
The Turkish hazelnut market has been driven upwards as a result of the political situation the past few weeks. The extreme USD/TLR rate pushed demand upwards for both short as long term positions. We have seen the highest peak so far at 12 January at TLR 3,92, the market continued yo-yoing from this moment on. Nobody is able to further predict the rate of the TLR, especially since the destiny of the Turkish constitution lays in the hands of the citizens as they are called to vote. The hazelnutmarket itself is as unpredictable. The strong demand resulted in Turkish handlers to mix 2016 crop with 2015 crop so a careful attitude is advised. The rumours of the Turkish chamber of commerce about the flowering in some lower altitude regions have been confirmed by several suppliers. Although this is good news for the coming crop, there are too many influences such as strong winds and rainfall able to reverse the situation. At this stage prices for new crop still stay firm and increasing, coverage for the short term is only advised from reliable handlers from whom the 2016 crop can be guaranteed.
The Turkish hazelnut market finished 2016 at an export level of almost 93.000 MT. While we were expecting the market to close between 85.000 and 90.000 MT during the time of our last market report, we’ve witnessed a small lift during the national holidays, which allowed the export figures to further increase. 2017 started on a firm basis, as processors are dealing with higher than usual handling costs due to the lower quality of crop. The supply is expected to remain stable during the coming week, based on the behaviour of major exporters. The behaviour of the Turkish Lira can however not be predicted, as we are witnessing a peak against the USD (see graph) after the attack in Izmir last week followed by the current debates in the parliament concerning the power of President Erdogan.
The California Almond board released the final shipment figures of 2016 this week. The export figures of December were at a plus 16% level compared to 2015, resulting in a total export figure of 278.530 MT in 2016. The market remained on a stable course during the first week of 2017 and is expected to continue this route on the short term. However, the availability of smaller varieties seems to become less, resulting in a reduced-price gap between the different sizes in the market.
Walnut exporters in the Eastern European regions were, next to the low availability of raw material, suffering from hazardous weather conditions during the first week of the New Year. Roads covered with snow and ice lead to a RED code in Romania and impeded transportation of both raw and finished product. A lot of rumours of actual crop in the market are spreading their way into the Western European market. A great share of exporters claimed to be running short, while some buyers still neglect these reports and await the market to decrease, which is based on our findings at source uncertain. Our advice is to cover at least the nearby positions and follow the market closely to overcome a miss out on the long term.
The factories have been closed for Christmas for the last 4 weeks. People are now slowly coming back and the market is now waiting for more news about the new crop. In our next market report we expect to give you some more information on this. The small crop has resulted in that there is hardly any product left and everybody is really focussing on new crop.
Australia announced that the 2016 crop was with 47.600 mton (inshell at 1.5% moisture) even slightly bigger than the estimate of 45.750 mton (inshell at 1.5% moisture). Australia is clearly the largest supplier of macadamias to the world again and this might be the same for 2017 crop. The “new” growing area around Bundaberg was the main contributor to this nice figure and is destined to be the powerhouse of the Australian industry for the years to come.
The demand has been very good for Australian product especially in Asian countries, which is a result of the following factors:
In total 10.500 mton was exported as NIS to China resulting in a quite stable kernel availability compared to 2015. This can also be seen in exports to for instance the US and Europe, which has been stable or slightly down.
For 2017 it will be interesting to see what the US is doing. Looking at the shipment figures 2016 so far has been quite disappointing, especially after record shipments in 2015. Nonetheless it looks like demand is increasing. We are attending the PTNPA in Arizona this weekend and it will be interesting to hear the different views on the market.
Europe had quite a good year, but is facing some difficulties with the strong Dollar. This is not only the problem for this item, but for almost all nuts. It looks like Christmas sales were good as there was quite some demand in the first 2 weeks of the year for spot material.
The Chinese inshell market so far has been strong looking for high quality merchandise.
Our recommendation is to closely follow this market and make sure that your early positions are covered, because there is only limited product around and we still have to wait till July before serious volumes will be available in the various markets.
The cashewnutmarket has been calm for the past weeks. A lot of buyers enjoyed a well-deserved Christmas break. The market was very slow and prices eased a little bit.
Supply: the current supply for India and Vietnam has to come from Tanzania. First shipments are arriving and they will start processing Tanzanian seeds just after TET holiday. The Vietnamese new crop is becoming more and more a question mark. The crop is delayed and might be smaller than last season. This is making processors a bit nervous and prices increased again since last week.
Demand: as prices came down and most packers covered for the 1st quarter 2017, demand has been slow. It is picking up now again for the remaining part of the 1st quarter and 2nd quarter of 2017.
It is our recommendation, with the current knowledge, to cover your needs at least until the middle of 2017. The Tanzanian seeds will be processed quickly. The Vietnamese crop is delayed and most probably be down because of the shorter harvest period, West African seeds will only arrive June/July 2017 in India and Vietnam and will only give relief (if it will give relief) during 2nd half 2017.
FYI: due to TET holidays in Vietnam there will be no shipments during last week of January and 1st week of February. This also might give some pressure to the prices for the nearby demand.
The hazelnut market remained firm during the past two weeks. While domestic prices continued to be stable, where prices for export destinations were driven up by the currency influences. After we witnessed a dip on the Turkish Lira in the first week of December, the currency recovered itself during the last two weeks. As mentioned in our last hazelnut update, the total exports from Turkey were expected to be below average this season. The export figures of the last two weeks, about 10.000 MT in total, validate these speculations. If this lines pushes through, the estimated figure would be between 85.000 and 90.000 total export this season. While Georgia benefitted from this situation at the beginning of December seem they to be in line with Turkey at the moment, turning them into a less attractive origin again. The market is not likely to come down on the short term. Unsatisfied farmers and handlers with higher production costs (due to the lower average) are the main drivers for this prediction.
The market of European walnuts seems to be in a small dormancy. After the tensed weeks before Christmas the market slowed down during the last few weeks. Most processors use this period to work on their marketing plans for 2017 and are open for bookings in January and February. Due to the depressive season in terms of available raw material do the most suppliers have a reluctant attitude towards bookings after February. Main driver is the change on a premature sell out or worse, the change to get blocked on the raw material by terms of price and availability. Bookings on the short term are advised to take in consideration, the sales during January and February will clarify the options for the long term.
California has been running on full steam so far. The shipment figures of November showed us a ‘turkey’ on exported product, achieving the third record this season. Total shipment figures increased by 39.6% compared to November last year. While the crop of the Eastern European regions has been disappointing this season, has the Californian exceeded the estimated quantity as released by the USDA earlier this year. The estimate was set on 670.000 MT inshell during September, while handlers already reported that they received over 675.000 MT so far. After these intense figures most suppliers are currently of the market, expected to be open for booking again during the beginning of January. Prices are expected to maintain firm for both the shelled as inshell market. Please get in touch for a one to one price update, we are happy to inform you.
The market for Brazilnutkernels is not very easy to judge at the moment. The facts are as follows:
Stocks in Europe and USA are limited so prices for spot material are firm and nearby positions will be firm.
Till new crop arrives to the market, any new demand may spark price increases as physical material will be tight in supply.
All factories in Bolivia are (still) closed as they have no more old crop raw material to process.
There were some rains, but that did not result in crop to be collected. Further rains are expected after which collectors will go into the jungle to start collecting. Any early crop coming out now is not sufficient yet for processors to start up.
Right now it is impossible to judge the new crop volume, timing is not right.
Most factories will start processing January/February for shipment March/April from the port.
Caution with rain of course are the road conditions. When there will have heavy rains, the road to Arica might be damaged (again) and first new crop shipments delayed.
Typically, first new crop arrives in Europe during May/June, it is unlikely for (serious) volume to arrive earlier.
Summarizing: we have to deal with the current inventory until new crop arrives, which is likely around May/June 2017. Premiums are expected to be paid by the factories for first new crop raw material, to allow the factories to start processing. Price wise, one may anticipate kernel prices for first new crop arrivals to be at a slight discount to current crop material (SPOT market).
It is our recommendation to be covered until Jun/Jul at least and probably take a partly cover for Q3 of 2017.
Due to heavy demand for inshell pecans in the fields, prices for kernels, (halves and pieces) shot up like a rocket. Hopefully this demand will slow down a little bit and prices will stabilize. We do not expect prices to come down to levels booked earlier for new crop shipments. Our recommendation for the time being is to watch the market carefully but buy only hand to mouth for 1-2 months ahead.
Demand for macadamias seem to be picking up with people trying to cover their needs till new crop and new crop enquiries start coming in as well. The consensus is that the prices will open higher than in previous years since the starting point is quite different to 2016 crop. Last year the inventories were quite high after the NIS debacle. Especially the US was having large stocks and very slow in demand. The first signs now are that the market is empty and new crop sales are expected to pick up shortly. Perhaps around the PTNPA when more is known about the new crop. During our trip around our customers in China we still see a strong appetite for macadamias over there. The high prices are having an impact, but since the market is short now resulting in higher prices again. There is some concern about the price level, but good quality NIS will remain scarce in the new season as well.
The AMS announced that the crop in 2016 was slightly higher reaching 48.600 mton and as such the largest supplier of macadamias to the market. South Africa had a disastrous year and was down to 36.500-38.000 mton, but world supply is stable. Together with the high inventories it has not been such a bad year in terms of supply, but still short. For 2017 it is still a bit early, but the first sounds we are hearing is that Australia is slightly down and South Africa up, but uncertain by how much as the drought is still impacting the crop. Malawi is looking quite bad and Kenya stable. China will grow a bit, but there are still a lot of uncertainties on this origin. Research is needed to get this industry going. Overall supply as such is going to be slightly up, but nothing dramatic based on the available information.
It will be interesting how demand will further develop, but especially for your early shipments it is wise to make up your mind and start covering after the Christmas break.
Review of the 2016 crops:
The crops in Asia were severely down, especially from Vietnam and Cambodia. But also West African crops were down from the previous season, a little bit in quantity but severely on quality.
Supply RCN vs demand kernels:
Total availability of RCN dropped by over 10%. The kernel demand however, also supported by the relatively stable (and compared to other nuts, low!) prices, demand grew considerably over the past 3-5 years.
The current high prices for kernels, almost historically high for WW320 and higher grades in the past months, shall impact demand negatively. Cashews have been ‘undervalued’ to a certain extent, but the recent run in prices have pushed the bar to too high levels.
India local issues; Viet Nam local influences; Chinese demand (and supply route):
The local market in India has been vibrant, growing fast on cashew demand, causing India to hardly export any cashew kernels anymore. Demand locally had been fueled by more kernels being available due to Indian companies buying RCN from Africa for local processing and kernel marketing.
India’s structure is predominantly cash based, and hence cash money plays a huge role in the country. The government recently ruled that 500 and 1.000 Rupee bank notes became null and void. This has negatively impacted the local demand for cashews (among other products that are typically bought cash). The impact is so large that various RCN parcels that were destined for India, or even in the ports in India, are now shipped to Vietnam.
The Vietnamese factories are mostly processing at 50% capacity due to lack of RCN, but many factories are totally closed as well due to lack of RCN.
Chinese demand continues to rise as Nuts are considered healthy, a luxury that is often bought to indulge, and of course nuts have been part of the Chinese diet for many decades (whereas cashews are of course more a novelty).
Forward view on market:
Short term, the coming 3-5 months, we anticipate that there will be much uncertainty in the market of kernels. The lack of physical volume of kernels, prices will rule firm.
India’s demand being under serious pressure will create some relief with potentially some processors having selling pressure and that may put more kernels on the export market. Buyers will continue to buy hand-to-mouth, and any increase in demand will spark price increases.
On the RCN side, the first new crop shall be in huge demand for the first crop coming of the trees both in Vietnam/Cambodia and W-Africa. But since the crops in Vietnam and Cambodia are typically at the same time as the West African main crops (Feb/March), there may be some early demand on first new crop shipments from W-Africa, but that will likely only be from speculators/traders that have limited (or no) real connection to the kernel market.
Summarizing, our conclusion is that we will experience a year that might be unprecedented and one must procure RCN with much caution, especially when it is procured for 12 months processing (as all factories do in W-Africa).
A nice video can be found at: Cashews in your Daily Diet
While the pressure was expected to be reduced on the export market, the latest shipping report noted another increase of at least 39% on exports compared to November last year. The high figures are caused by an increase of the global demand, no specific region seems to be responsible for this increase. China is most close to be called a gamechanger, but even with their import figures of roughly 27.000 MT Shelled/inshell product, they did not even absorb 5% of the total shipped product. With decreasing prices during the end of November, the market remained more or less stable during December. Despite the high shipment figures are prices not likely to increase on the short term. Based on speculations in the market, our advice is to follow the market closely and be reluctant on the nearby bookings.
The market for Almonds showed her strength last weeks, being a firm market with increasing prices. This trend of increasing prices is expected to continue even further coming weeks. Both buyers and suppliers are pushing the market upwards. Suppliers start to trade based on bids instead of selling prices, putting themselves in the position to make the call. Also the increasing demand, ‘caused’ by the buyers who in the first way where after the low prices, is affecting the market. In the last market report we spoke about the expected shortage on the premium grades, these effects are already influencing the market as well, widen the gap between high and low grades. Our strong advice is to cover at least for the short term, since prices are expected to increase during the coming weeks.
After a period of increasing prices, persistent farmers and a market which seemed to be stuck forever, we saw the first relieve in prices in the past weeks. The market seems to be moving again after some farmers in the Akçakoca region started to sell their consignment stocks two weeks ago, more and more Turkish farmers decided to start selling as well. This development is pushed by several factors. The weakening Turkish Lira, the buying prices of Ferrero for Italian crop and the terrible shipment figures of last month declare this selling attitude. Also the presence of both Azerbaijan and Georgia is increasing the pressure on the Turkish farmers, since they are satisfied with the current market prices ( +/- 8,60 USD) and are filling up the demand for this season. We expect this trend to push through in the coming weeks, covering future position is therefore not recommended yet.
Last market report we already spoke about some small delays on the arrival of raw product at the processing factories. Although these delays seemed harmless by then, we spoke with several processors who are getting nervous on the deadlines for their first shipments. This development is putting more pressure on both Eastern European farmers and processors, since demand for this region is mostly used to cover the demand for Christmas. Our visit to Eastern Europe next week will clarify the situation. For now we advise to check your positions which should be filled before Christmas, to overcome trouble on deadlines. The market for U.S. merchandise could be called stable so far, but change is expected to come. Due to news from source of last week, the record estimate of 670.000 MT new crop will probably not be reached this season. The logic continuation for this situation would be an increase in prices, which doesn’t allow a wait and see attitude on U.S. product the coming weeks. We advise to follow the market closely and don’t postpone on both nearby and future positions. Prices from India are slightly different from the other origins. We have seen relatively high prices for light grades in combination with relatively low prices for the amber products. First shipments are booked for the beginning of November, processors are working hard to ship already in October as well.
The prices for Pecannutkernels are just going up a little bit. First new crop shipments are committed and sellers/processors are working for January onwards shipment now.
Hurricane Matthew is a danger for the USA pecannut crop when it would hit the state of Georgia. We will know this middle of next week. When it will hit the state of Georgia (one of the major pecan producing states) this will have an mpact on the crop. If not we expect prices to stabilize for shipments the first 3-5 months for 2017.
Offers are available on request.
The smaller factories have already finished production as they were unable to get more raw material due to the short crop. Remaining mid to large sized origin factories/ sellers are currently withdrawn from the market, trying to establish their exact remaining inventories in order to make sure that they do not over sell. As a result the market is firm with very limited availability, with offers only from resellers. Price may remain firm until Q2, 2017 when we would get supply relief with new crop material being available.
The situation in the macadamia market remains unchanged. There is currently a shortage on style 1 and style 2 and this situation is not expected to improve. There is quite some demand in the European market for spot material, but positions are tight. For ingredient grades there are still offers around and buyers are not really in a hurry it seems. The overall outlook is that also for these grades it is recommended to have a look at your positions, because high quality product will be tight. Some South African factories are already done processing for the season as they received way less product. This might have its consequences for total availability later on.
For new crop the first signs are very promising from South Africa. The flowering is exceptional in the Southern and Northern growing areas, but the question is whether the water levels will allow this to turn into nuts. In the Southern area this looks more promising as they had decent rains over the past weeks giving them quite some confidence. The growers in the north are keeping their fingers crossed as the rains are very little and the waterholes still at low levels. We will visit South Africa and Kenya in October again and hope to be able to have a better view on the outlooks.
The market went up during 2016 from levels around Usd 3,35-3,50 per lbs up to Usd 4,10-4,30 per lbs basis FOB (for the main grade WW320). The main reason for this was the shortage of supply added on to the minor quality of the raw seeds. Due to the minor quality of the raw seeds, processing costs were/are increasing and processors are doing concessions to quality to make sure they can fill in their commitments and signed contracts. This execution of border line quality cashewnutkernels is creating more quality issues at destination as packers and industries are not happy and disapproving lots which is causing a continuous demand in the market to fill up gaps.
Another reason was that most buyers in the beginning of the year were expecting the market to ease. At the cashew conference in Dubai in February, a lot of buyers were anticipating on good crops on the Northern Hemisphere giving a boost in supply and kernel prices to come down. The opposite happened and buyers started to enter the market to cover their commitments, pushing prices up.
For a sustainable cashew market this is not goo d. Where we have seen a stable growing consumer demand (4-7% annually), the 2016 prices might disturb this growing curve. We are not seeing this happening right now but as a lot of contracts for 2017 with the supermarkets will be closed during October and November, the consumer will only see the higher prices from January 2017 onwards and consumer demand might be hit than. Packers and industries will be cautious covering their forwards keeping this in mind and that hopefully will help the market a little bit to find his feet. Stable prices are creating growth. The volatile market of 2016 will disturb this stable growth.
On the supply side we have to wait for the Southern Hemisphere crop. Hopefully this will give some relief but so far the prices do not come down yet (keep in mind that Southern Hemisphere crops will only give 20-25% of the total world supply). Tanzania and Mozambique –who together might produce around 200.000 mton of raw seeds are having a growing domestic processing industry (Mozambique will process approx. 50-70% locally in very good factories and Tanzania will process around 20-30% locally). Brazil is not exporting raw seeds so that India and Vietnam for the coming months will mainly depend on Indonesia and Tanzania.
The prices for Indonesian raw seeds are around Usd 2000 per mton (the equivalent of kernels WW320 would be around Usd 4,50-4,70 per lbs) and is not looking promising as there is a lot of demand for those raw seeds.
Tanzanian prices will be known during October/November while Mozambique only will export –although not of impact in the international market- during February/March of next year.
The crops in the Northern Hemisphere will only become available from February onwards until June/July. Hopefully the main producing origins in West Africa and India will have good crops bringing the peace back in the market. (A note to make here is that a number of West African producing origin are working on protection of their own industry with export taxes or other instruments. This is very good for the local African processors but might give pressure on the Indian and Vietnamese processors buying from West Africa!)
On the demand side we have seen an annual growth of 4-7% which is expected to get a hit in 2017. What the impact will be is hard to say as the cashewnut is still a very favourable nut well appreciated by the consumers. Mainly for snacking but also to the interest of the industry. The cashewnut has to compete –especially now and in the near future- with the almonds which came down in price and due to a good crop are not expecting a price increase. Packers are trying to decrease the % of cashewnutkernels in their mixes and fill up with more almonds. The cashewnut industry has to find his way how to handle this but as the producing / processing countries are divided worldwide, generic marketing will not be easy.
Another very important issue the cashew sector has to work on is food safety. A lot of factories are not ready for buyer’s requirements. Supermarket chains and industries are requiring more and more food safety guarantees to avoid claims and black listings. Especially in the US (with Europe expected to follow shortly) the Food Modernization Act is very high on the USDA & FDA agenda. The cashew industry has to be prepared that while now most of the time it is preferred to have HACCP and BRC certified factories, in the not too long future this will become a requirement and packers to be audited accordingly and only approved/certified factories be allowed to deliver certain customers. We are aware that in Europe some supermarket chains are not approving the origin of the nuts but the factory already!
A ‘threat’ for the cashew industry is the mind-set of processors. Are they a processor or are they a trader? To build your market and customer base, you have to understand the requirements of the buyers (not just fill them in!). A processor needs to know why he is doing something to guarantee his specifications and food safety. A lot of small traders turned into processors over the past years (especially in Vietnam) damaging the image of the industry with small factories not qualified to handle food. Those processors expect to get a better return on processing than they had on trading. This is different than a quality minded processors whose goal is to set and build long term relationships with customer who are satisfied with the product he is delivering! A processor needs to earn money but his main goal should be to get the best factory possible to guarantee specifications and food safety!
Our experience of the past 2 decades is that this creates a sustainable business, giving customers the comfort they are looking for and guaranteeing a long term relationship.
The consumption of nuts in Europe is expected to grow as nuts in general (including cashews) are still recommended as a very healthy snack, food and most importantly, replacement of meat. The academic research supported by the International Nut Council is very important to make the consumer aware of the health claims of nuts and they are successful. The only ‘cloud’ on the continuous growth could be the volatility of prices creating uncertainty with packers (who quite easily can replace cashews) but also the R&D departments of industry who usually work on projects which takes months and sometimes years to find his way from the first idea to consumer. When the nut price is volatile, the product can become too expensive and loose interest. Also because of this, a more or less stable market is the only guarantee for a sustainable cashew trade.