The new crop has started to arrive into the market in Turkey. This has started to provide a clearer view of what the new season will bring. While the official crop estimate came in at approx. 81,000mt, most packers are estimating a crop more in the vicinity of 100- 110,000mt. Initial appraisals are that up to 40% of the crop is blemished with hail damage and speckled fruit due to the stormy weather the growing regions encountered during May and June, which is a critical period for the development of the crop. As a result there will be a higher proportion of the crop left un-sulphured as blemishes are less visible on natural apricots. Therefore, there will be a lower percentage of sulphured apricots available from the total crop.
Overall we expect to see a similar scenario developing to last year where good clean quality fruit becomes increasingly harder to find as the season progresses. Prices will rise as a result, with lower quality and industrial prices lagging behind. Natural apricots are likely to continue to trade at a discount to sulphured. Prices have opened higher than last year but lower than the mid season prices, we think the market is well priced at this level and buyers of quality fruit are advised to book early.