Skipjack tuna prices for delivery in Bangkok, Thailand, in December jumped over $100 per metric ton to $1,700/ton and above. “The high fuel costs mean the big purse seiners need at least $1,700/ton to make money” It seems all fishing in the Pacific has moved to the west since fish are not aggregating on fads in the east. Skipjack catches are down, of course, because of the lack of fishing effort. Traders don’t see any reason that the December price would drop for January due to lower catches and less supply in the Atlantic, Indian, and Eastern Tropical oceans.
Raw Material Price
SKJ = US $1,700-$1,750/ton
YFN = US $1,900/ton
Albacore = US $3,200/ton
Tongol = US $3,250/ton
There is normal supply for this time of year, but demand is down slightly. The decrease in demand is from China and lower coconut milk manufacturing. Many expected an increased demand of fresh young coconuts from China as they emerged from extended Covid lockdowns. However, the demand isn’t materializing as expected due to China’s commitment to their zero-tolerance policy and slow re-openings as new cases are detected. The decrease in demand is also attributed to the slower than expected coconut milk manufacturing as needs for exports drop significantly. It’s now a good time to reserve volume as packers are eager to get orders.
China – The Chinese mandarin harvest resumed in late October in the three major producing regions Hunan, Hubei, and Zhejiang. The crop is confirmed to be impacted by high temperatures during the summer resulting in significant volumes going to waste due to sunburned fruits, in addition to more fruit of smaller sizes due to the lack of rain. Volume for canning targeting the export market is very limited. Average reference price for Chinese canned mandarin 5% broken are reported to be ranged between $10.50-$11.50 per 24×11 oz carton. The price would be about $1.00 per carton higher than prices reported during the processing season last year.
Spain – The Spanish mandarin canning season resumed in Mid-November. Raw material supply for canning was initially projected at around 35,000-40,000 tons (this volume tends to be stable every year). However, recent unfavorable weather (hailstorms) compromised between 10-20% of the canned mandarin output this season. There is a general industry concern based on market uncertainty due to the rising energy cost, the overall degrading financial conditions, the ongoing sea and land logistic disruptions and the retail demand for canned fruit after retail prices are increasing by 25% on average in Europe. The reference price for Spanish canned mandarin fancy quality, max. 5% broken in light syrup is €19.50 ($20.04) per 24x11oz carton this season, up 20% from last season and up 40% compared with quotes in 2020.
Fruit price went down to around THB 6.20/kg but started to pick back up about 2 weeks ago. Current fruit price is around THB 7.70 – 8.00/kg.
In terms of quantity, supply has remained constant at around 4,500 mt/day which is considered not a big quantity comparing to normal situation at around 6,000 mt/day. From the forecast, quantity shall remain at this level throughout 1st quarter of 2023. At the end of the year, it is estimated that overall tonnage for industry will be around 1.23 million tons for 2022. Apart from raw material prices that are affecting cost, packers are also facing higher costs due to packaging and labor which increased in October.
There are many factors negatively impacting the Mushroom market – lower supply, increased costs, additional import duties, and increasing demand. Demand is up a little from previous year, but supply is tight. Extended hot weather later in the year has negatively affected the beginning of the season and initial volumes. Pricing is increasing due to rising raw material, packaging, and production costs. Increased fuel costs are the greatest factor influencing increased production costs. The newly imposed anti-dumping duties for the European origins will affect demand as importers work to secure volumes from the countries and packers with the lowest applied anti-dumping rates. Demand for canned mushrooms is expected to increase in the coming months as consumers turn to healthier diets, tightened spending and at home cooking. Buyers need to make quick decisions on new contracts to secure supply.
Peru is the fourth largest exporter of mangoes in the world, especially of the Haden, Tommy Atkins, Kent (fresh) and Edward (frozen) types. The season begins in Piura, the country’s main producing region. The season kicked off in Week 46 and is expected to last until Week 12 of 2023.
The season starts with “Edward” variety, whose harvest begins at late October/early November and ends in the first half of January. It is followed by “Kent” variety for the months from December till March, “Haden” variety from March to May and “Tommy Atkins” variety from March to July.
The expectation is that the total volumes for this season will meet the projections. Yet, it is probable that some parts of Peru have less performance due to low temperatures, but that should not affect the overall product supply and will not lead to price increase. In general packers are anticipating a good Mango season. Peruvian exporters, however, continue to battle with high freight prices and a lack of containers which, as recently warned by the Peruvian Association of Producers and Exporters of Mango (APEM), continues to be a concern for the new campaign.
With the recent monetary policy trends, bank analysts expect a USD strength through Q1 2023 and then come to a falling position from late 2023 to year of 2024. Overall, we see a mixed picture, although high inflation and interest rate increase can have negative effect, on the other hand, we still see good retail sales data and jobs growing. The slowdown may take longer than expected to be carried over to the consumer level. However, there is no doubt USD will be sensitive to any swings in interest rate change, economic data release and monetary policy trends.
OCEAN FREIGHT & SUPPLY CHAIN
We are continuing to see the effects of high inventory levels that have been present in the US this fall and winter. With inventory so high, demand for vessel space – and the prices associated with those shipments – has fallen. These effects have been felt the most in transpacific shipping lanes but are starting to be observed around the globe.
The last several months, we have been watching shipments to the US West Coast from Asia approach pre-covid lows. Shipments that route to the US Central and East Coast regions were holding on to remnants of their crisis-level highs until recently, where we are starting to see some of the same lows as we have been seeing in the west coast.
There have been expectations that freight rates between the EU and South America to the US would drop as well. No one seems to know how much or how fast this would happen. And until recently the reductions have been just a trickle here and there. The last couple of weeks however we have been seeing some promising changes. Our latest prices from the Mediterranean indicate the first significant price drop since covid. There is not enough data to suggest whether this is a one-time downward bump or the start of a new trend, but we have our fingers crossed for the latter, stay tuned for more!
Finding consistent, good rates out of Peru has been a steady challenge for ACME and our partners. We have had to work to realize the good prices we get quoted. The pressure is starting to ease up though: our rates are decreasing, and vessel space is becoming more available. This is reminiscent of the changes we saw between western Asia and the US 4 months ago, but also quite new. ACME is looking forward to seeing how these new trends in the EU and SA develop. We have high hopes for a new, more reasonable, normal.
Please note that US side congestion continues to be a costly problem. The same capacity constraints we have been seeing the last quarter in receiving drayers, chassis, container yards, warehouses and the rail infrastructure continue to exist. The systems and personnel that drive these processes are getting better at handling the strain. But make no mistake, every day hard-working people around the country are navigating systems that are being pushed to their limits.