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Market update: Hazelnuts, Dried Apricots and Figs

Hazelnut market players were taken aback by the Turkish Grain Board’s (TMO) decision to sell hazelnuts. The initial assumption was that the state-run organization would try to hold on to its stocks to prevent prices from tumbling before the Presidential elections in May.

Instead, on February 1 the TMO advised that it would sell part of its stocks at shockingly lower prices than expected. This is probably caused by TMO’s cash flow demands. 20,000 mt of the 2021 crop in Levant quality at TRY58.00/kg 8,000 mt of the 2022 crop at TRY 61/kg.

This announcement immediately prompted the prices for Levant quality in-shell nuts to fall from TRY 61.5/kg to TRY 56/kg and the expectation is that they will drop as low as TRY 55/kg. The good news is that the market has been capped. Demand and the new crop will be more important from now on. The issue, however, is that weather conditions are far from ideal. Although snowfall would be a lifeline, weather forecasts state that this will not happen in lower altitudes at least.

Dried figs: Lower temperatures in the fig-growing region of Aydin, Turkey are generally beneficial for the fig trees and the overall crop harvest. However, the limited supply combined with increasing demand is causing a rise in export prices. For example, No 2 Lerida (Smyrna figs 41-45 wholes per 1 kg) dried figs are trading around 5% higher at US$6.73/kg F.O.B. Izmir basis.

The rising demand for figs, especially for Ramadan (22 March - 21 April), is contributing to the increase in market prices. Additionally, the local exporters association is concerned about the impact of climate change on fig production, which was expected to be higher in 2022 but was greatly reduced due to adverse weather conditions. The cultivation of figs in higher regions makes them vulnerable to weather fluctuations, adding to the challenges in fig production.

Dried apricots: The market in Turkey has seen unexpected price increases, causing surprise among traders. The farmgate prices for jumbo apricots have risen from TRY 125/kg to TRY 145/kg. The increase has only had a minor impact on export prices, except for jumbo (No 1 and 2) apricots, which have risen by $300/mt. The weather conditions for the new crop are favorable so far, with temperatures expected to drop further and snowfall expected in the coming weeks, which would benefit farmers. Export volumes have been lower than expected, but the large quantity of goods available has kept prices steady.

Exchange rates 1 USD =~ 18.85 TRY. 1 Euro =~ 20.37 TRY.

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