- Exports in March were 8,836 tons tons, compared to 8,396 tons last year.
- Year to date exports are 75,727 tons compared to 75,275 tons last year.
- Average price for whole apricots year to date is $2767 FOB compared to $2742 same period last year
Strong exports for March keeping us on track to reach a total of 100,000 tons and a tight transition to new crop.
Bloom Time In Malatya
Bloom is underway, and already over in low lying areas. There was some frost and snow early on, and a lot of rain throughout the bloom. Its is too early to make any predictions except to say that conditions were not ideal.
The Corona Virus Effects
The Turkish Lira has been weak over the past month due to Dollar strength on the back of the virus. At time of writing it was 6.74 to the $ a fall of 9% over the course of the month.
Social distancing regulations and the fear factor has more or less shut down the Sire Pazar, the central apricot market. This combined with us being in the middle of the bloom and the end of the season has meant very little activity. We think that most packers and buyers had squared their books before the beginning of March.
Though regulations do currently allow workers at food factories to continue to work, a lot have decided not to do so, preferring to stay at home, factories in Malatya are reporting up to 50% of workers staying home. If this continues for some time supply may be affected, if it continues into the summer then harvest will be a major challenge as all the apricots are harvested, dried and pitted by hand and require a large influx of seasonal workers.