The Mintec Benchmark Prices for Turkish sultanas (standard type 9, RTU, FOB Turkey) increased 16% in the four-week period to 16th August to $1,850/MT, following wet weather in Turkey’s western areas in May and June.
The benchmark rose as sellers increased their offers reflecting concerns over the smaller-than-anticipated crop. “There is a mixed sentiment. Some packers increased their prices, and some are offering small volumes at their book values, discounting the high end of the market by $100/MT,” a European trader told Mintec.
The International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC) had earlier estimated the size of the upcoming sultana crop in Turkey at 310,000 tonnes. Nonetheless, following the heavy rains in May and June, projections in Turkey peg the size of the crop at 215,000 tonnes. Some market players to whom Mintec has spoken believe this figure is realistic, in line with the damage caused by the rain, high humidity and mildew. “The 215,000-tonne estimate could be true; we are also seeing a lot of damage in Turkey,” a UK-based trader told Mintec. “215,000 is realistic. Damage in Manisa is big, and the region produces large volumes,” a German trader said. “The crop is not looking promising,” another UK-based trader added.
As Mintec reported in its previous update, areas of western Turkey received excessive precipitation in May and June. Trade sources report a smaller number of bunches per vine and fewer berries per bunch.
Furthermore, there are concerns over the availability of organic product as farmers applied pesticides to protect vines against the wet conditions.
Some market participants suggested the market could settle around the current level as the expected hike in the 2023/24 Turkish Grain Board (TMO) purchasing price will provide a natural bullish impetus. “Expectations on the TMO buying price increased after the release of the hazelnut price,” a trader said.