The Mintec Benchmark Prices (MBP) of Turkish dried apricots (size 4, sulphured, FOB Turkey) fell 1.5% during the week of 2nd February but up 23% month-on-month, at USD 7,360/MT.
The market has been primarily driven by supply tightness in Turkey, the largest dried apricot producer, following low carry-out inventory from the previous campaign and the subsequent supply tightness.
Anything from size 4 upwards is presently low in supply, with smaller sizes sold out. The latest offers from Turkey are mostly for smaller quantities as farmers have been reluctant to sell, holding on to stocks rather than receiving payments in the Turkish lira. The lira has fallen almost 50% against the dollar over the last year.
Turkey is projected to have produced an estimated 91,000-96,000 tonnes of dried apricots in 2021/22, based on the official data published by the Turkish MTB (Malatya Ticaret Borsası) in July last year. However, some market sources estimate the crop as low as 80,000 tonnes, citing adverse weather during the summer of 2021.
On the demand side, Turkey exported 51,480 tonnes of dried apricots between 1st August 2021 and 29th January 2022, an increase of 3% year-on-year. However, some industry sources have raised questions over demand maintaining its current pace amid the escalating prices.
A European buyer stated that he expects demand to wane as prices are presently too high and manufacturers could move away from dried apricots. Another buyer reported that their dried apricot B2C segment is suffering due to the high prices. ‘Demand for dried apricots is weakening as consumers are sensitive to the price hike’, he said. A different European buyer and a supplier of dried fruit to health stores confirmed the fall in demand: ‘We have seen almost 50% drop in demand. There is a shortage of dried apricots, but consumers will not buy at these high prices’.