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Market Trends – December 2023


The skipjack catch in the Western Pacific and the Maldives is better overall. While the rest of the Indian Ocean is experiencing poor catches. Skipjack price level is now $1500/MT which is close to the low point for 2023. Packers forecast skipjack price at $1,600/mt in Q1/2024 rising to $1,700/MT for the remainder of the year.

For yellowfin, we have seen significant decrease of volume caught. However, market demand for yellowfin is also low at the moment. The price remains at the $2,300/MT level and we foresee that it may rebound in Q1 due to low supply. 

Albacore price is currently at the $2,500/MT level, which is the low point for albacore and probably will rebound in Q1/2024.

Raw Material Price

SKJ = US $1,500/ton

YFN = US $2,300/ton

Albacore = US $2,500/ton

Tongol = US $2,000/ton



Many growers are forecasting the next coconut season to be lower than last year and therefore prices are expected to rise. There are many factors contributing to the current and forecasted low supply of coconut raw material and the higher prices – low season, lower demand for coconut milk, exports of whole coconuts, and the effects of El Nino.  Current supplies are being depleted as we move through the low season. The new pack season will start in April but because of the severe weather conditions brought by El Nino, crops are expected to have lower yields than previous years. Pricing on raw materials will increase as demand exceeds supply. Buyers are urged to plan forecasts now and place orders to secure supply.



This winter crop is one of the worst crops due to a very late start. Factories had been producing 2-3 days per week since October until last week as supply gets back to normal, albeit a very limited supply of choice grade. Price remains the same as in November. This would be the worst year of pineapple in Thai history because total tonnage is less than 0.8 million tons, which is even less than in 2020. For the summer crop, we are not sure about the situation yet, but we anticipate that tonnage of fruit will be the same or a bit higher than 2023.



Mandarin pack season will end in January, overall price dropped about 10%-15% from last season. China still remains the most suitable origin for canned mandarin oranges to the US.

Below are price reference points for 24x11 oz mandarin: CHINA – $8.50-$9.00/cs.

SPAIN – $16.50/cs.

TURKEY – $13.50/cs.



SPAIN – The monthly data of Olive Oil in Spain in November have been published as follows:

• Production in November:  220.929 metric tons.

• Total stocks as of Nov 30:  372.762 metric tons.

• Total sales (domestic and export):  65.367 metric tons.

In comparison, the total sales in October 2023 reached 79.700 metric tons. Even though monthly sales show some decrease, and it is the beginning of the harvest, the cost of the raw material continues to be extremely high and volatile. The purchases made by big bottlers on the market over the last two weeks when stocks are still low, and the persistent drought may be two reasons for the continuing price increases. However, the decrease in consumption is becoming perceptible.

All those factors have created a feeling of uncertainty in the market and suppliers remain very conservative.  In our opinion, prices are not likely to stay at the present level for an extended period of time. There is not yet a reaction to the lower sales. We will continue to watch the market and will inform you if changes happen.

Morocco – Morocco’s agriculture ministry has approved a decree to ban olive oil exports to stem skyrocketing prices on the domestic market. The announcement makes Morocco the third major olive oil producing country to implement an export ban after officials in Turkey took similar measures in August, followed by Syria in September. Officials in both countries cited rising olive oil prices in their decision to implement the export prohibitions.



The rainy season in Perú is just now starting. Due to El Nino they are expecting higher than normal amounts of rain. Northern Perú will be affected by an increase of the temperature by 2-3 degrees, more than the average weather conditions for this time of the year.

Peruvian producers reported that the Red Pepper yield has decreased by 30% compared to last year and they expect to maintain these negative results during the first semester of 2024. Nevertheless, the months of December and January will be critical to forecast next year. This will impact on the cost of the product for next season which we will be quoting by January 2024. As for labor costs, there is not any news of an increase for 2024. 





November U.S. inflation figures were in line with market forecasts. Core inflation monthly rate climbed from 0.1% to 0.3%, and the yearly core inflation matched expectations at a 4.0% rise. Despite Eurozone inflation nearing the 2.0% target, the European Central Bank is likely to maintain its interest rates at the upcoming meeting in December. Bank analysts believe the Euro's rising trend against the U.S. dollar may persist but the near-term outlook is mixed. They see several risks associated with it, which may cause the rate struggle to gain much. 



The Alliance members Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Yang Ming and HMM have suspended their PN3 loop from Asia to the North American west coast, “until further notice”, effective the first week in October, In order to mitigate the impact of the temporary suspension of the PN3 loop, THEA said it would add port calls and make a rotation change to its Asia-North America PN2 service and increasing the total length of the string to 63 days.

Typhoon season has kicked off, typically creating an escalating system of delays in the transpacific trade that typically lasts until Lunar New year.

As we approach the Lunar New Year on February 10, 2024, it’s crucial to address the challenges posed by capacity and equipment strains, as well as the potential for increased delays during this holiday season. The South China Customs has announced Custom offices will be off duty during China Lunar New Year period. Barge services will be suspended during this period due to customs closure.

After experiencing the driest October since 1950, the Panama Canal announced Oct. 31 new measures to control water availability, including a gradual decrease in daily transit allowances to bottom at just 18 from Feb. 1 onward, a 25% decrease from current transit capabilities. Due to Panama Canal issue, carriers start diverting vessels, to go thru Suez Canal, transit time will be about 4-5 days longer so far and higher ocean freight rate.

The Panama Canal Authority announced the number of daily transits will be updated to 24 passages a day starting January, which is an improvement on the previously announced 20 daily transits. Major ocean carriers (MSC, HPL, CMA CGM, ZIM, COSCO, HMM) have decided that their ships will not transit the Suez Canal due to recent attacks in the region. Several ocean carriers are resolving to route cargo around the Cape of Good Hope as they wait for better maritime protection.

Transit times for USEC services are now an additional 10 to 14 days due to the longer sailing time.

East Coast North American shipments could face another significant hurdle in 2024: a potential strike from the International Longshoreman's Association, North America's largest union of maritime workers -- many of whom serve North American East and Gulf Coast ports.

The Port of Baltimore has started a new scheduling process to Out gate containers which has slowed down the entire process of loading and unloading. Therefore, please expect some additional driver detention charges on the Invoice.


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