Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Peanut Update

Good Friday morning,

Attached is link to a Peanut Planting Report for the SE.
I hope you enjoy the photos and the information.
Have a nice Memorial Day weekend.

1 person killed, 1 wounded

1 person killed, 1 wounded Another attack on cashew harvesters in SenegalArmed men opened fire on a group of villagers as they tried to harvest cashew nuts Thursday in southern Senegal, killing one person and wounding another, authorities said. The attack came two weeks after a group of armed men rounded up about 20 villagers in the area and sliced off their left ears with machetes in a warning to leave the cashew trees alone. Cashew nuts, one of the restive Casamance region's more lucrative crops, are regularly harvested by villagers, bandits and rebel fighters struggling to survive in the bush.The villagers were attacked Thursday morning outside the village of Baraka-Bounao, near the country's border with Guinea-Bissau, said Lucien Gomis, president of the rural department that includes the village. Police confirmed the incident. Military officials said the villagers went out to harvest without asking for a military escort, as officials have recommended. "Our people in the zone were alerted by the sound of shooting," Lt. Malamine Camara, a regional spokesman, said. Camara said the shooters had left by the time his men got to the site.It was unclear if any organized group was behind the attack. Victims of the previous attack had said their assailants claimed to be rebel fighters with the Movement of the Democratic Forces, which has waged a low-level insurgency against Senegal's government since 1983. The group denied any involvement in the attack.Casamance, separated from the rest of Senegal by Gambia, has been plagued by sporadic violence for years as rebels fought for independence and against each other. The region also is sown with land mines, and bandits regularly attack vehicles on its roads. More than 1,200 people have been killed in more than two decades of fighting in the region.Source: iht.com

Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekly Cashews Update

May 17, 2008

Cashew prices moved up a few cents this week due to lack of offers. Some business was done at the higher prices e.g. W240 around 3.25, W320 around 3.05 FOB, W450 around 2.85 FOB for shipments upto Oct.

From India, limited quantities are available for nearbys and due to the high RCN prices, there is very little interest to sell forward positions. Business with Vietnam is for nearbys only as buyers willing to buy forwards from very few processors there.

Normally, forward trading should be at peak during this main harvest period but due to the high prices & uncertainty everybody wants to play it safe PLUS number of forward players is limited due to the overhang of recent problem

Until inventory levels and supply lines come back close to normal levels, it will be very difficult to know the real usage & demand trends. Increase in all costs and general increase in prices of all commodities will also have some impact on the Nuts sector - price as well as demand. This means that taking forward positions will continue to be difficult for both sellers and buyers

Guinea Bissau RCN prices have moved up but these levels cannot be supported unless kernel prices move up as well. If kernel market softens or demand slows down, traders will find it difficult to realise the high prices being negotiated now. Despite a good crop, shipments from IVC continue to be slow and there are reports that yields of goods now arriving in Abidjan are quite low

We continue to feel that short & medium trend will remain firm and this could well spillover into early 2009 (the last time prices crossed 3.00 – in 1999 - they remained around that level for about seven months from May to Dec and started declining from Jan 2000 with the big decline happening only in 2nd and 3rd quarter of 2000)

Would appreciate your comments on market situation, views / forecast of demand and market trend and any other info / news

Pankaj N. Sampat

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pecan Market Update May 5,2008

Cold storage holdings for the month of April were reported to be 331,339,000 pounds. This is a slight increase of 3.5 million Pecan pounds. This should be the peak. If history repeats itself, we most likely will begin reducing the cold storage holdings in April all the way through September – deducting what would appear to be around 160 million pounds. If so, the carry out would be approximately 171 million pounds at the end of September – which is high.

The uncharted waters that we have been mentioning in our recent market updates appear to be realistic. Here we are with a large cold storage number and what also looks like will be a large carry-out but the market remains very strong along with some sizes and grades being very short – particularly with halves.

It appears the reasons for this being the case are as follows:

We are going into the off-year; although, it’s too early to be sure of how short the crop will be. We will keep you informed.
Consumption of Pecans remains strong; furthermore, we are still getting heavy interest from customers still needing to contract needs for this year.
Walnut pieces remain strong and customers continue to look at pecans as an alternative supply.
Customers, for the most part, contracted solidly through December 2008.
Inshell pecans continue to be held to supply already written contracts. With that, inshell is still being held by growers and some shellers for China to cover their needs until new crop becomes available to ship.
China’s usage remains strong. The commerce department reported 29,432,578 pounds of inshell pecans have already been shipped to the orient through the month of February. The guess is that China will buy about 15 to 20 million more pounds between the end of February through the month of September of 2008.

It is definite that the uncharted waters are in full swing. As always and more than ever, proceed with caution.

Kind Regards,

Sam DiGregorio
Southwest Nut Company

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Almond Crop Estimate 7 May 08

Almond Crop Estimate 7 May 08

Dear Friends:

1.46 Billion Lbs—that’s the almonds crop estimate released today by the Almond Board and USDA Calif Ag Statistics Service compiled from a grower survey of 251 growers representing 18% of the acreage. The estimated yield of 2212 lbs per acre on 660,000 estimated bearing acres would give us the 3rd record crop in a row and a yield just short of last year’s 2241 lbs/acre record.

Most in the industry were expecting an estimate in the 1.3 to 1.4 billion lbs range, so this estimate is a surprise on the high side. There may be some softening of prices in the short run in the Calif varieties. Nonpareil are hard to find now, so I would not expect and price reductions. In the long run, I expect the market can handle this crop size. We have a history of shipping more than expected when supply is available and prices are reasonable as they are now. Almonds are the lowest priced tree nut and many of the others are over 3 and 4 USD/lb.

Tomorrow we have a position report with April shipments. At that time, I’ll make another report with some crop inventory projections and comments on price reactions to the crop estimate.

Best regards, Ned

Monday, May 05, 2008

Weekly cashews update

May 3, 2008

Cashew market is steady – with a slightly firm undertone for nearbys but not much activity for forwards. No change in prices in the last two weeks - business was done for W240 around 3.20, W320 around 2.95, W450 around 2.75 FOB (some business was done few cents higher as well)

RCN prices from West Africa are also steady but very little new business has been done in last couple of weeks. Brazil has entered the RCN import market after a long gap (their previous import was in 1998/99). Shipments are picking up and after reasonable quantity of old purchases have been shipped, new business will be done. There is still a lot of seed available but there are delays in arrival in India & Vietnam plus some holding back for higher prices. Unless kernel prices pick up for forward positions, processors will be reluctant to pay high prices as there is very limited demand for later positions at the moment

Due to the uncertainty of when – and how much cashews – will be shipped from Vietnam, it seems that kernel market is likely to be more of a spot market for quite some time. This is going to make things difficult for people who want to take forward positions – they will be reluctant to take on any big commitments as they are already caught on the wrong foot and cannot afford to aggravate an already difficult situation

Usage in first quarter has been good in most markets – despite some retail level price increases in some markets. Usage in second quarter must be watched closely to get an idea of extent of buying cashews still to be done for 2008 deliveries and to get some idea of how demand will develop in late 2008 / early 2009

Pankaj N. Sampat
Mumbai - India