Which were the main difficulties faced by the dried fruit market in 2023? What has changed compared to the last two years? Turkey in particular was hit by severe earthquakes this year. Do these have a lasting impact on the dried fruit market?
The main difficulties were the climate conditions which caused huge problems during the growing period and resulted in diseases which caused yield losses. The initial forecast for sultana raisins was around 300.000 mt but resulted in approximately 230.000 mt. High production costs and yield losses caused price increases of around 80-90%. The quality of the dried apricots were also affected by the climate conditions, frost, rain, hailstorms and could not be maintained during the spring months due to the earthquake is 11 Provinces in East Turkey. The prices here also increased massively and are not expected to lower again.
What impact do the wars in Ukraine and Israel have on the dried fruit market? Are the political tensions in various African countries also a cause for concern here?
The Ukraine-Russia war had an impact on the exports of fresh grapes, especially during 2022 since Russia is one of the major importing countries, but recovered slightly during 2023. The Israel war has not shown direct impacts yet, but market players state that demand is poor; whether this is due to the high prices or due to the wars is not clear yet. There are no concerns yet due to the political tensions in various African countries.
In 2023, climate change and its impact on global commodity production was felt like never before. What should growers and market players be prepared for in the coming years?
It is actually expected that the climate change will have serious impacts during the coming years and this year was the start according to many market players. Growers cannot prepare themselves since they are totally dependent on the weather conditions, market players must either accept these high prices or look for alternative products.
Commodity prices have risen significantly in many markets for another year in a row. Inflation and higher production costs are leaving their mark; the dried fruit market is no exception here. Do you think consumers will look for cheaper alternatives in the long run?
Consumers will look, but cheaper alternatives will not be easy to find since the whole world is affected by the climate change.
Looking at the current market situation, what challenges might the dried fruit market face in the 2024/2025 season?
It is difficult to predict the next season since the climate conditions are continuously changing. If it continues like this, productivity loss will be inevitable for many products around the world.