Based in Aguadulce, in the South of Spain, Tioga has 15 years of experience in trading in organic and conventional nuts. As a leading broker Tioga also provides up to date market information for buyers and producers.
Is the demand situation for almonds any different than it would normally be around this time of year?
Tioga: Short-term demand has been affected as was to be expected. Suppliers to restaurants, hotels and caterers and bars are directly affected by the mandatory closures due to Covid-19. The peak in consumption in the Easter season is also lost and the ice cream industry is hard-hit. Thousands of ice cream shops traditionally open at Easter and now must remain closed. The situation has also given rise to uncertainty all over, which is affecting demand in the export market. Currently, it is the industrial buyers related with supermarket distribution who keep working on a regular basis.
Are there enough trucks available to carry out deliveries?
Tioga: Up to now logistics are working properly and without any relevant issues. Only certain destinations take a few more days, but overall, everything is rolling.
In what state is the almond bloom in Spain right now?
Tioga: Early bloom varieties are done all over, so nutlet development and blooming season are progressing in proper conditions. Late bloom varieties are done in the south and east of Spain and from Jacket to out of the Jacket in the cold areas, the extra-late bloom varieties are from petal fall to jacket.
Can farmers tend to their orchards as much as they need to and do they have enough labourers?
Tioga: Up to now, the farmers have no restrictions in doing their jobs at the ranches. They will need labourers, mainly in the harvesting season in summer and, hopefully, the current situation will be over by then.
Could the present situation have an adverse impact on yields?
Tioga: Right now, the risk of frost remains for a couple of weeks. Recently, a few cold nights may have damaged some areas in northern Spain, but hopefully with no significant impact on the Spanish 2020 almond crop.
What are the prospects for this year’s organic almond crop? Will it be better than in 2019?
Tioga: As mentioned above, frost remains a risk for the time being. So, it is too early for estimates on the organic crop. Nevertheless, the blooming season has developed in good conditions up to now, with quite good rainfall promising the development of a good crop and if everything goes well during the rest of the season, we can expect a much better crop than in 2019.
Do you think the shipments from California could be delayed in the coming weeks or even months because of logistical issues?
Tioga: We believe that shipments may be affected, but more than logistics we believe shipments may rather slow down because of the uncertainty in the market due to the expected economic crisis in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.