We are pleased to provide the below apricot market update from Valley Diamond.
· Exports in April were 8,310 tons, compared to 6,568 tons last year, an increase of 26%
· Exports year to date are 83,586 tons compared to 81,478 tons last year, an increase of 2.5%
· Average export price for whole apricots for April was $2734/ton FOB, and year to date average export price is $2740/ton compared to $2924 average for 2017 crop.
The weak Lira and low prices produced strong export figure again for April Expect year end exports to exceed last years total of 95,000 tons, though supply is going to get very tight in the last couple of months of the season and that may restrict shipments a little.
This is the fourth consecutive year of lower prices and correspondingly higher total exports.
Domestic consumption, a figure that is based on best estimates only, is thought to be in the region of 17,500 tons, leaving less than a months supply as carryover. Total crops for the past 2 years have been about 120,000 tons each year.
Prices in Malatya remain steady, with all lots coming up for sale being purchased by packers.
The Lira has again been weakening on political tensions, it currently stands close to 6.20 to the $.
Bloom is finished. Following the frost in March there was a further frost and significant snowfall in the last week of April affecting late blooming higher elevation orchards. Moderate damage has been reported. The government operated crop insurance company Tarsim is reporting a record number of apricot farmers have made frost and hail claims this year (7,500 claims made to date), though we suspect the number of farmers taking insurance is also increasing.
Official crop surveys are expected to be made in the next two or three weeks. Our current impression is that the crop will be less than the last 2 years, but that it is not a disaster like the 2014 crop, but more like the 2015 or 2016 crops. We will make our survey at the end of May.