- Exports in May were 4,535 tons, compared to 7,904 tons last year.
- Year to date exports are 87,346 tons compared to 91,490 tons last year.
- Average price for whole apricots exported in May was $2890 compared to $2660 in May last year.
May exports fell more than expected because of a shortened month due to lockdowns, Ramadan and Bayram holidays. Supply has also tightened significantly as we come to the end of the crop, and any remaining stock holders are reluctant to sell as the new crop is looking short and prices are rising. Some handlers may have been unable or unwilling to cover short positions forcing buyers to come back into an already firm market.
We expect 2019 crop total exports to reach 94,000 tons, therefore
We will do our full crop survey later in the month travel permitting, but for now, following a late frost and persistent rain during the bloom the estimates among growers and exporters are for a crop of between 70,000 and 90,000 tons (we suspect its closer to the higher end of estimates) plus the 6,000 tons of carryover. This means total supply will be down 15% to 30% compared to last year with only 65,000 to 85,000 tons available for export after deducting domestic consumption.
There is an expectation that the TMO (Turkish Grain Board) will buy apricots to support prices as they have done in recent years for sultanas and figs. A warehouse has been constructed by the Malatya Borse that could store 10,000 to 15,000 tons if they do buy, though given the short supply prices have already started to increase and they may not need to intervene.
As far as new crop pricing is concerned it has not yet been established, but fresh fruit buyers are currently offering Tl 4.00 to Tl 5.00 per Kg for fruit on the trees (all harvest costs for buyers account), this would indicate prices will be higher than they are currently, especially if the TMO intervenes. Supply for export is going to be similar to 2015 or 2016 which also supports higher pricing (see chart)
Chart with total export tonnage and annual average price
Organics will again be tight with a large number of orchards affected by disease and a number of growers giving up organic status.
The Lira in line with most emerging market currencies has strengthened from a low of around 7.25 to the $ to around 6.80 today, and has held steady for the past 10 days.