The Mintec Benchmark Prices of Turkish sultanas, standard type 9, CIF Northwest Europe, fell by USD 100/MT (-5%) in the two weeks to 24th March, to USD 1,893/MT. In the week ending 24th March, prices in USD-denominated market dipped mainly on the back of depreciating lira, following the sacking of the former Turkish central bank governor, Mr. Naci Agbal on 20th March.
For the upcoming crop, the above-average temperatures during this year’s Turkish winter have led to early sprouting in some vineyards, raising concerns about potential frost damage. Indeed, some key grape growing areas of Turkey experienced sub-zero temperatures in February and March. In the week of 25th March, more frost was forecast for the Alasehir area, west of Turkey.
Turkish sultana exports have so far totalled 132,000 tonnes since the start of the season in September last year. This is 14% less than in the same period in the previous season as demand continues to be hampered by the pandemic.
In the Southern Hemisphere, production in South Africa was adversely affected by heavy rains and floods along the Orange River in the Northern Cape province in December and January. The 2020/21 output is anticipated at approximately 70,000-73,000 tonnes, according to Raisins South Africa, a decline of 15-20% year-on-year (y-o-y).
The organisation says the quality of this year’s crop is good, following favourable weather during the drying stage in February and March. As of Mid-March, plenty of grapes were still being dried on drying racks.
The volume of Goldens is estimated at around 50% of the previous year. The quality of Goldens is also good as producers have separated damaged bunches from the good quality crop, according to Stefan Jordaan from Raisins South Africa. Tight Goldens availability is also due to farmers being unable to dry grapes on time for Ramadan this year (starts on 13th April), and therefore drying grapes for other sultanas instead.