Dried Fruit

Prunes: situation remains tense

July 14, 2021 3:07 PM, Der AUDITOR
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SANTIAGO. As the crops in the most important producing countries have turned out to be smaller than hoped, the supply situation in Europe continues to worsen. Some traders are now turning to unusual sources.

Low crop in Chile

The situation on the prune market remains extremely tense and market players fear that the difficulties will continue throughout the season. The biggest problem is the poor crop in Chile; heavy rains during the drying phase had resulted in at least 20% of the fruit becoming unusable. This is causing massive shortages in Europe, exacerbated by logistical hurdles such as the lack of containers and high freight costs.

It is striking that buyers have noticeably lowered their demands in view of the many adversities. While they were still very strict about size and quality in recent years, as the experts at Catz report, they are now much more flexible and are often happy to be able to buy prunes at all.

Eastern Europe as an alternative

Alternatively, goods from California are available, but on the one hand the crop has been smaller than expected, and on the other hand the traders there are of course aware of the situation in Chile. This means that they have raised their prices, which makes the calculation more difficult for European buyers - often the purchase is not profitable when the 9.6% import duty is included. The problem is that there are hardly any substitutes otherwise. In the meantime, some traders have even switched to prunes from Eastern Europe, although these are not among the core products there and are produced in correspondingly small quantities.

There are currently virtually no offers on the European spot market and traders are holding back on price indications for the time being until they can better assess the situation.

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