Market report 12 November
Headline rates at 10.13 GMT ( 12/11/2018 ) : EURUSD 1.1252 GBPUSD 1.2830 GBPEUR 1.1402
At the moment what we are seeing is a strong dollar effect plus a return of some Brexit uncertainty. The dollar strength relates to strong economic indicators ( the non farm payroll , GDP and spending figures ) from the US economy, we have indications from the FED that we may see three further rate hikes in the next year. The euro also has some weakness in the face of “spend and be damned “ Italian budget proposal and the inability ( perhaps ) of the ECB to control that. The increased Brexit uncertainty arises due to Remainer Jo Johnson’s resignation from the cabinet and splits in the Tory party from both pro Remain and Brexiteers. Uncertainty seems to be peaking. On the other hand, GBP is still at 1.14+ against the euro, economic indices are still holding up.
At this time market Vietnam and India depend on Tanzanian imports. Previously market was weak due to sluggish demand ( demand saw a weak market and held off buying ) and consequent defaults ( Vietnamese processors found that prices contracted with traders of African cashew were unworkable against demand’s ideas ) on Tanzanian imports. Thursday, Friday and weekend there were some riots in Tanzania and the government declared that traders were ripping off farmers by not bidding at the state auctions for raw cashew nut (RCN). So we are at an impasse and the government is sacking relevant officials, and saying that it will buy the crop from the farmers. The problem is that storage conditions in small towns in Tanzania are very poor and processors must expect quality deterioration ( higher percentage broken, discoloured, insect damage )as well as high prices. Meanwhile Tet holiday looms and the least resistance path for small informal kernel processors is simply extend the holiday back and sit this one out. Shorts ( of which there seems to be plenty) will be caught and so we might enter the Vietnamese new crop march April on a rising market , never a good thing. Time to cover if your sales are already committed !
Market seems to be fairly steady this week with most exporters finishing up for the season and gearing up for new crop. Apart from a couple of the largest exporters who have some limited remaining stocks, there does not seem to be any indication of much carryover. New crop pods are expected to fall during November as we are now in the season of heavy rains, and collection will begin in December. Exporters feel in no rush to make any new crop sales and prefer to have some raw material in their hands. After 2 difficult years they prefer to be somewhat conservative. For now there is no real base price for raw material with the collectors, I suspect going into December this will start to form. A normal crop is 1200 fcl and so far everything looks normal, however as we found out, in the short crop year of 2017, crop estimates have no credibility till at least March April and first volumes of inshells are safely collected and in Riberalta. No one knows, but we are prepared to have a guess!!
The damages to the crop in Georgia are still being assessed. Estimates are between 37.5-62.5 million lbs has been lost to rain and wind damage which equates to 30-50% of the Georgian hazel crop. Poor weather has also delayed collections in other states, at the moment harvests are running 2-3 weeks behind where they should be. In-shell material has only just begun to arrive at the shellers and pricing is still in a state of flux due to fact the percentage of halves compared to pieces, from cracking is still a big unknown.
We should have more clarity in the coming weeks
The TMO began their buying program on Friday 29th October and have bought around 4500mt of in-shell at 14 TL. This pricing agreement along with a strengthening lira has moved the market up around 20% since the beginning of August. Supply from farmers is enough to satisfy sluggish demand, manufacturers are not pushing material as they look to see if the lira can continue to make gains against both the USD and EUR. A great deal of unknowns remain in the hazelnut market; how much do the TMO intend to buy and will they continue to pay farmers promptly? What will happen to the value of the Lira? And importantly will farmers continue to only sell modest quantities in the hope of the higher market they were promised?
Even at today’s pricing levels hazelnuts remain one of the cheapest nuts for inclusions.
Almonds ( see attached position report)
The October 2018 position report was released last Friday (09/11,) with the main numbers showing as follows –
Oct shipments were 247.11 M lbs. – 0.3% higher than last year. This is a new record for Oct.
2018 crop receipts 1.554B lbs. – +1.61% compared to last year.
Uncommitted Inventory – +17.89% compared to last year.
Total shipments 2018 v 2017: – 5.85%
The 2018 October shipment number of 247.11 m lbs has come as a bit of a surprise for the industry which was expecting anything between 7-10% less than last year. Domestic demand was strong at +6.7% but exports were slightly off at -2.0%, (although the export figure is still the second largest Oct number.)
Crop receipts at 1.554 B lbs at this stage, had lead California to believe the total crop will be between 2.3-2.35 B lbs which is under the objective number of 2.45 B lbs.
With inventories in Europe very tight and with the release of this number we see a firmer market. We would still expect to see California in the market, rather than withdrawn, but offering at higher levels. There is still a good crop to move but the pressure has been released somewhat and buyer’s would be advised to address their needs sooner rather than later.
Walnuts ( see US position report in attachments “MMR OCT 18” )
The Californian walnut October 2018 shipment report was released last week which showed a decrease of 14% compared to last October.
Crop receipts are at 597,269 tons.
The numbers are no surprise for California who point to the later crop this year. November shipments are therefore expected to be big and most packers have been unable to offer November shipments for a few weeks.
Prices have moved off the bottom and are 5-10 cents higher than 3-4 weeks ago. Spot demand in Europe is strong as there is little 17 crop left and 18 crop hasn’t hit our shored yet. Once the 18 crop arrives the pipeline should start to fill up and the market should settle down on spot.
Forward cover is sporadic. Some buyers have taken the opinion of, “don’t look a gift house in the mouth,” and covered as far forward as they can (prices today are a good $1.00/lb cheaper than this time last year.)
Other buyers have continued to book hand to mouth as they are unsure of their forward commitments as well as global uncertainty.
We see a stable market going forward.
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