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Latest From Andrew Ciclitira
The news of the week continues to centre around the collapse in the value of the Turkish lira against the US dollar. This should have a major effect on the selling price of Turkish dried fruits but recent news of heavy rain in the fig and sultana growing areas has helped to firm prices locally.
The collapse in the value of the Turkish lira against the US dollar continues to benefit the UK dried fruit industry which remains the largest export customer for Turkish dried vine fruits.
Early reports continue to suggest that despite the extra hot weather in the Mediterranean region everything is going to plan for the new season Turkish and Greek dried fruit crops. The harvest for Turkish sultanas and raisins should begin in approximately two weeks and the critical period as ever is when the fresh grapes are cut and are in the open drying.
The sudden weakness in the value of sterling against the US dollar and the euro has alarmed the UK dried fruit market. Virtually all purchases of dried fruits are made in US dollars so a major movement in the value of sterling has an immediate impact on the cost of dried fruits.
Although weather conditions throughout the Mediterranean are almost perfect for the production of dried fruits, concern continues over the total availability of this year’s Turkish vine fruit crop and potential shortages from other origins, particularly California, in the months ahead.
The UK heatwave has inevitably reduced retail demand for dried fruits, as although dried fruit sales are no longer seasonal, peaks in demand continue around the Christmas and Easter holiday periods.