Dried Fruit

Prunes: buyers need alternatives

December 8, 2021 at 4:55 PM , Der AUDITOR
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SACRAMENTO/SANTIAGO. In September, prune imports to Germany showed a massive deficit compared to the same month last year. Chilean goods are hardly available any more, offers are scarce.

Shortage of goods

Chile's disappointing prune crop this year has had consequences: there are no more offers from the origin, only now and then is a single container available for sale. As a result, small prunes are becoming scarce on the European spot market. The new crop will not come onto the market until March/April, and it will probably be at least May before the goods arrive in Europe, according to the experts at Catz.

Those who cannot wait that long are bridging the time with shipments from California, but prunes from Eastern Europe are also becoming interesting for some buyers when there are no other alternatives. At the end of November, prices for Chilean unpitted prunes, 30/40 were EUR 4.00/kg FCA Spain. For US prunes, pitted, 40/50, offers on the European spot market were EUR 5.05/kg FCA Spain and Argentine prunes, unpitted, 30/40 were trading at EUR 4.05/kg FCA Spain. Availability, however, is limited.

Imports massively reduced

In September 2021, Germany imported just 500 mt of prunes, not even half of what was imported in the same month of last year. With 201 mt, Chile was still in first place, but the difference compared to the same period last year is -70%. Shipments from the USA, France and Argentina have also dropped considerably.

In the first nine months of the current calendar year (Jan-Sep 2021), Germany imported a total of 6,658 mt of prunes, a good quarter less than in the same period last year. The majority of the import volume came from the USA (+-13% yoy to 2,579 mt). Shipments from Chile halved during this period to 1,720 mt, while at the same time imports from France (+20% to 626 mt), Serbia (+119% to 237 mt) and Uzbekistan (+38% to 109 mt) rose markedly year-on-year.

Prune* imports, Germany, in mt

Country

2020/21

2021/22

Diff.

Chile

675

201

-70.2%

USA

199

164

-17.6%

France

85

56

-34.1%

Netherlands

132

38

-71.2%

Poland

12

11

-8.3%

Argentina

24

10

-58.3%

Turkey

0

10

n/a

Uzbekistan

0

4

n/a

Others

16

6

-62.5%

Total

1,143

500

-56.3%

Federal Statistical Office of Germany / September

*08132000 Dried prunes

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