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  • RMiranda

Market Trends - February 2024


TUNA

The catch in Western Pacific remains good, SKJ raw material price is in a slight downward trend.


The current SKJ price is now at $1400/ton. Packers foresee that SKJ price may increase significantly again in April/May.

Regarding yellowfin, its supply has been low for a few consecutive weeks. There are very few suppliers offering yellowfin for now because we believe that they would like to wait until its price increases to the better level.


For Albacore, there are very few transactions in the market. Its price is at the level of 2,600 due to slow demand in the market but catching is good. 



Raw Material Price

SKJ = US $1,400/ton

YFN = US $2,300/ton

Albacore = US $2,600/ton

Tongol = US $2,000/ton

 

COCONUT

Current supplies of raw material are low and almost sold out.  The new pack season will start in April but because of the severe El Nino weather conditions, crops are proving to have about 25% lower yields than 2023.  Pricing on raw materials is expected to be about 20% higher as demand exceeds supply.  The lower demand of coconut milk is adding additional constraints to the supply of coconut water. Packers with specific raw material needs are finding it harder to obtain the supply.  Buyers are urged to plan forecasts now and place orders to secure supply.

 

PINEAPPLE

The situation of pineapple supply does not look good. The forecast of total tonnage per day is lessthan 3,000 mt throughout the year, while it will need at least 5,000 mt to feed all factories.


There are few reasons caused by low tonnage. Firstly, the number of plants has reduced due to the drought. Secondly, pineapple did not flower as the temperature in November-December was not cool enough. Later, farmers must force flowering by using Calcium Carbide but there was not enough rain to do so. Thus, we can foresee the shortage problem.

 

In terms of price, the average fruit price in January was almost THB 11.00/kg while January last year the price was around THB 7.50-8.00/kg, the price has increased by about 40% from last year.

If pineapple is short, we can predict that the price will increase. Anyhow, it also depends on market demand. If the demand is not strong, then the price may not increase much but if the demand is strong then we may see competition among packers.

 


OLIVE OIL

According to a preliminary estimate from Spain’s Cooperativas Agro-Alimentarias, the 2023/24 crop year has met the lowered expectations, albeit narrowly.


Despite the promising forecast of 755,000 tons, production will most likely reach only 710,000 tons due to unexpectedly low oil yields from olives that have already been milled.


Spanish olive oil yields are greatly affected by drought and lack of water and would require rain throughout the winter and spring for the trees to recover from the water stress situation, which they have suffered during the last two seasons, especially since approximately 70 percent of the country’s olive groves are not irrigated.


Regardless of how the 2023/24 harvest finishes, it will surpass the record-low yield of the previous crop year, when Spain produced 664,033 tons. The slight production rebound is primarily due to the effects of the Iberian peninsula’s historic drought being somewhat mitigated by rain.


However, large olive oil-producing regions, including Andalusia and Castilla-la-Mancha have fallen short by 30 and 23 percent, respectively. Although not all harvest data has been counted for these regions, the current estimates are discouraging. There will be a better picture in February once the remaining 15 percent of farmers have completed their harvest.


For now, the market has not changed substantially since the beginning of January.  Activity is very small, both on the supply side and on the demand side.  The main feeling is apathy and disinterest of operators, with a resistant firmness of the prices. It is taken for granted that this harvest in process will be slightly better than 2022-23, so the discussion is about the odds for a bigger crop in 2024-25.

 

Rain is very much needed, especially in southern and eastern Spain, for the trees to blossom in May and bear fruit in fall.  At present, the weather is dry and rather warm, with temperatures proper for spring.

 

OTHER NEWS

 

THE EURO

As 2024 progresses, there could be periods of strength for the Euro against the Dollar, with the Dollar facing its own set of challenges. The mixed views from different banks highlight the uncertainty and the range of factors that could influence the EUR/USD rate, including inflation rates and broader economic performances in both areas. The ECB's and Federal Reserve's monetary policy also play an important role in the exchange rate movement. 

 

PORT CONGESTION & OCEAN FREIGHT

The Ongoing attacks against commercial shipping in the Red Sea will have a material impact on transit times and the ability to maintain weekly sailings on the Asia-Europe and Asia-US East Coast trade lanes at least through the second quarter. In response, most vessels have diverted traffic around the Cape of Good Hope which adds an average of two weeks to the transit time.


Ocean rates spiked across ex-Asia lanes as Houthi attacks continued and Red Sea diversions push up costs and tie up capacity. Rates have more than doubled since mid-December, signaling a complex market environment.


The South China Customs has announced Custom offices (excluding Yantian, Shekou, Da Chan Bay, Hong Kong) will be off duty during China Lunar New Year period. Barge services will be suspended during this period due to customs closure. Customers might notice delays in getting their expected shipments, as well as price volatility in shipping costs. Some may also encounter extra fees if their cargo has to wait at ports while workers are off for the holiday.


The equipment situation for Europe exports is a tricky with Mediterranean expected to have issues next 3-4 weeks, North Europe situation looks more stable for exports to Asia, while exports to North America is tightening.


Panama Canal Authorities are forecasting up to 24 containers a day until the end of April, beginning of May, when, hopefully, rainy season starts again. This is because they are just entering the dry season in Panama and a very dry season in '23 because El Nino effect.


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 current contract between the ILA and with United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) is set to expire in September, and ILA leadership indicated October 2024 interruptions were a possibility in a Nov. 4 statement.


Plan longer lead times and higher costs into your supply chain - so far, no indications that the situation is close to being resolved.

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