Wednesday, November 21, 2007

US asks Israel to stop importing pistachio from Iran
Washington displeased with nuts smuggled to Turkey from Tehran and imported to Jewish state
Itamar Eichner

US Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Keenum demanded Monday that the Israeli import from Turkey of pistachio nuts originating in Iran be halted immediately, Yedioth Ahronoth has learned.
The US undersecretary met with Israeli Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon in Rome during a conference organized by the International Food and Agricultural Organization.

'No economic ties between Israel, Iran' / Tzvi Lavi
Opposition Chairman Netanyahu presents Knesset with legislative initiative prohibiting Israeli institutional bodies from investing in companies that have business ties with Iran
Full story
The Israeli embassy in Italy reported to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem that the Americans are working to stop the export of Iranian pistachio nuts as part of the economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic.
Keenum told Simhon that it was absurd that Israel was purchasing most of its pistachio nuts from an enemy state. According to the undersecretary, Washington was extremely troubled by this, as US pistachio growers have protested the fact that America's friend favors Iranian pistachio nuts over American ones.
Simhon, who was surprised by the information, promised to act immediately to halt the import of the forbidden pistachio nuts. "Israel is not interested in helping Iran's economy," he said.

Iran is the world's biggest exporter of pistachio nuts, while Israel is the world's biggest importer of pistachio.
"We all know what the Israelis like to do on Friday night in front of their television sets," said Zvi Alon, senior deputy-director general (foreign trade) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. "The Israelis just love their pistachio nuts."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Weekly cashews Update
Nov 17, 2007

The climb continues… during this week, price for benchmark W320 grade moved up more than 4% - 10 cents a lb. Other grades also moved up by around 5 cents. Business was done from India & Vietnam for W240 around 2.90, W320 around 2.55, W450 around 2.40 FOB. There are reports of sales few cents higher as well. USA was the most active buyer but other markets also participated to some extent

Brazil is still not offering any significant quantities – in addition to the effects of the strong Real, processors are probably concerned about size of the crop following the delay in arrivals in the main growing areas

Cashew Board of Tanzania announced daily auctions in different areas but like the procurement policy, the auction rules also are unworkable. Due to the limited availability of RCN, prices for the only available origin – Indonesia – have gone up to a level that is unworkable even at the increased kernel prices

One significant factor of the last three weeks has been that although market has gone up 10%, the volume traded has been small. We can see two reasons for this limited volume (1) most processors have adequate sales for next few months and in a sharply rising market, they are reluctant to sell large quantities – more so, due to uncertainty of RCN pricing and weak USD (2) although there has been some buying by roasters, most of the buying has been short covering by importers who were waiting for Brazil & Tanzania crops to cover Oct-Mar requirements but are now forced to chase limited quantities. Delays from some suppliers in India & Vietnam have added to the quantities they need to buy. But, they are buying only what they absolutely need to fulfill delivery commitments

Buyers are not willing to buy any large quantities for forwards at higher levels as they are not sure these levels can be sustained when Northern Hemisphere crops start in March.. Although there is a temporary squeeze in supplies there is no significant change in overall availability.. Current price rise seems to be combination of this temporary squeeze + precautionary buying + shipment delays

As we said in our previous reports, if the market strength continues in the first quarter of 2008 it will lead to higher RCN prices in second quarter which will mean that processors will have to sell in 2008 at prices substantially higher than what we have been used to in the last couple of years

The weak USD will certainly soften the blow for the roasters & retailers in non-US markets (in some cases there will be hardly any change in price) but the adverse impact on rawmaterial & processing costs in origins is quite significant

In any commodity, a sudden change in prices – up or down – has more adverse & less beneficial impact. Sudden moves – without significant change in fundamentals - give misleading signals to people who do not look at the wider picture & their reactions distort operations for all stakeholders in the chain which is not good for the growth and health of the business

We can expect uncertainty – and scarcity of offers - to continue for a few weeks and this should give everyone time to reflect on how they should react to the current situation

Would appreciate your views on present market situation, your forecast on activity & price trend for next 2-3 months and your insight on movements on demand side for 2008

Pankaj N. Sampat

Monday, November 12, 2007

Our weekly cashews update
Nov 12, 2007
Cashew market continued its upward movement last week - business was done W240 around 2.85, W320 around 2.45, W450 around 2.30 FOB. There were rumours of some trades for W320 few cents higher as well. There was a fair amount of buying interest from USA at these levels and other markets are also picking up some quantities. Offers from India and Vietnam are limited - processors are concerned how things will move in coming weeks after the big jump on small volume. Processors in Brazil are still not offering any significant quantities... and this situation will continue until RCN arrivals pick upTanzania RCN has still not started moving. Until the stalemate is resolved, Indian processors will be reluctant to make any large sales for 2008 shipments as they do not know what price they will have to pay for seed for first quarter processing. If buying interest does not subside in coming weeks, we could be looking at firmer market throughout 2008 but on the other hand, if buyers keep away from the market for few weeks till East Africa & Brazil crops start moving we will see the market stabilising around current levels.. After that, next direction - up or down - will depend on how kernel buyers operate in first quarter (just before Vietnam, India, West Africa crops start)

Pankaj N. Sampat
Mumbai India

Monday, November 05, 2007

: "A shortage is expected"First Diamond walnuts arrived in EuropeTholen - This morning, the first boat with new Diamond walnuts has arrived in Europe. A shortage of several nuts and dried fruits including Diamond walnuts is expected. The first boat - of course - also carried walnuts for the Dutch importer Tovano. Richard Strijbis of Tovano was very pleased with the quality of the first Diamond walnuts. In spite of the shortage, Tovano will regularly receive Diamond walnuts. “We recommend our customers to reserve the volume they want to buy in advance”, says Richard Strijbis.
look at these articles basically they are preparing us for the surge in price

US: Cranberry production surges on wave of demand

With candy-corn season past, the holiday feast season has begun, and that calls for a lot of cranberries.Washington produces many of its own cranberries in the state's southwest corner, where farmers expect this year's harvest to yield 180,000 barrels, or about 18 million pounds. It is the country's fifth-largest cranberry producer.Some will be sold fresh and used in cranberry sauce, but most become cranberry juice or dried, sweetened cranberries.This year, dried cranberries surpassed dried apricots as the country's second-most-popular dried fruit. They still trail raisins, which have more than 40 percent of the market, according to Grocery Headquarters Magazine.Part of cranberries' popularity comes from their recently discovered antioxidant value. By some measures, cranberries have more antioxidants than blueberries, a claim that ticks off some blueberry producers."Cranberries are upsetting some other berries, that's for sure," said Peter Guyer, president of Athena Marketing International in Seattle, a consulting firm for the food and beverage industry. Some players, even in the cranberry industry, want a standard measure for antioxidants so that consumers will know which claims to trust, Guyer said.Ocean Spray recently spent almost $18 million boosting production of its "Craisins" at a factory in Markham, near Aberdeen.More than half of Washington's cranberries become Craisins, estimated Kim Patten, a horticulture professor at Washington State University's extension unit on the Long Beach Peninsula.Still, during last week's sunny weather, Washington cranberry farmers harvested as many fresh cranberries as they could. Fresh cranberries bring prices 20 to 40 percent higher than those sold for processing, said Carl Waara, a fourth-generation cranberry farmer in Grayland.With vines dating back to 1925, Waara remains one of the state's few full-time cranberry farmers.Many were wiped out in a market crash about a decade ago. Others suffered from last year's anemic harvest, which came in about 39 percent below the prior year."Last year was the worst in history, for me personally and for most of the area," Waara said. His cranberries rebounded along with most of the state's crop this year.Source:

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Pecan Market Update
Oct,4 2007

New crop pricing are starting to come in and everyone is looking for the lowest prices that will become available.
starting prices are opening @ $3.85 FOB TX for Jr. Mammoth halves with all the hopes that from here we will see this market declining which some even think it could come down as low as $3.50 lb.
hopefully we should know more in the next 2 weeks.
Weekly Cashews Market Update
Nov 3, 2007

Cashew prices moved up again middle of this week – volume traded was limited due to reluctance of processors. Business was done W240 at 2.70/72, W320 at 2.35/37 and W450 at 2.20/22 FOB (there are rumours of some sales few cents higher as well). Most of the business was for nearbys but there were reports of some sales for forwards as well.

Vietnam is reported to have sold reasonable quantities in last two weeks, and they seem to be willing to sell few cents lower than India for 2008 shipments. Brazil is relatively quiet and this was probably the trigger for firming up of market at this time – buyers who were waiting & hoping to cover Nov-Mar shipments from Brazil are now buying from other origins due to lack of any big selling interest from Brazil. Unless Brazil is able to offer reasonable quantities in coming weeks, firmness will continue

Tanzania RCN has still not started moving. Until the stalemate is resolved, Indian processors will be reluctant to make any large sales for 2008 shipments as they do not know what price they will have to pay for seed for first quarter processing. And this will have impact on RCN pricing at the beginning of India, Vietnam, West Africa as well

Market is currently influenced by unusual tightness in supply of RCN (normally at this time Tanzania & Brazil crops should be in full swing). If buyers continue to buy aggressively in coming weeks, we might see a new higher range being established for 2008. But if they slow down after covering immediate needs, we will see prices stabilising around current levels for next few months. Next indicator for price trend for second half 2008 will be the Northern Hemisphere crops beginning in March

Market is very delicately poised and so, a time to be careful

Would appreciate your views on current market situation, forecast for demand and price trends in 2008 and any other news or info

Mumbai India