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NEWS LETTER
September 2015

EXHIBITIONS CALENDER – October 2015

Dried Fruit  EXHIBITIONS CALENDER – October 2015

PISTACHIO

US: Pistachio harvest affected by high share of blanks

Iran Pistachio, Iran Pistachio news In California, responsible for 99 percent of US pistachio production, pistachio harvest is in full swing. This year is an off-year for pistachio trees, which means supplies are down. First indications show that production will be lower than what is expected of an average off-year. Two main culprits are impacting this year’s lower supplies.
Water shortage during nut-fill period California’s lack of water is also impacting yields. Pistachio trees form a shell first and during a later stage, the nut fills the shell. The nut-fill period is a critical time and the availability of nutrients and water are key for the tree to grow a nut in the shell. Due to the lack of water, many trees are only producing shells and as a result, the share of blanks has increased significantly. Harvest is still going on, so it is hard to share a final number, but for some growers, the share of blanks in some orchards are as high as 70 percent.
Tight supplies Between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015 California exported 61 percent of its pistachio production. China is the number one market for the US, followed by the European Union. Iran is the US’ main competitor and US at a disadvantage in China because of Iran’s proximity to China. This year’s lower yields in combination with strong demand will result in tight supplies. Iran had a record-crop in 2014, causing demand for US pistachios to drop. In addition, the west coast port strike had a big impact on the US’ ability to export to China.


ALMOND

US: California’s almond crop down significantly

Iran Pistachio, Iran Pistachio nrews California’s almond harvest is in full swing. Limited acreage expansion keeps prices high.California’s drought has made 2015 even more of a challenging year than 2014 was. “The Irrigation districts we farm in have further reduced water allocations this year and as a result, some of our ranches will receive about 45 percent of the amount of water the trees require, while other ranches in other irrigation districts are better off.” Van Duyn’s wells need to make up for the shortfall. “Prior to the drought, the majority of our ranches have been irrigated with surface water from the irrigation districts, however, due to the drought, we’ve had to rely on our wells to supplement.” Gervase feels very fortunate to farm in some of the very good irrigation districts and that the groundwater levels and water quality in his area have remained adequate so far. “We utilize drip irrigation and micro sprinklers, allowing us to apply water as efficiently as possible,” Gervase added.
This year’s lower crop results in the possibility of demand for almonds exceeding supply. According to Gervase, prices are expected to stay high during California’s drought as many are hesitant to plant new acreage. “I expect acreages to increase once the drought ends, after strong rainfall and a significant snowpack,” Gervase mentioned. “However, the availability of tree stock from the nurseries will be a limiting factor in acreage expansion,” he added.

RAISIN

US: US raisin shipments remain slightly behind last year's levels.

Iran Pistachio, Iran Pistachio news US total raisin shipments are 6% behind for the 2014/15 season to March 31, figures from the Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC) show. This is in line with the trend seen in previous months. US shipments of all raisin types were at 332,821 packed tonnes for the August 1 2014-July 31 2015 period against 378,635 tonnes in the same stage of 2013/14. The cumulative total includes shipments to the domestic market and into Canada.

FIG

TURKEY: Turkish fig is damaged

Iran Pistachio, Iran Pistachio news The "Crop Estimation Committee" has concluded its study about the production areas. And the following can be reported:
• On average this year’s harvest will be a week later.
• The large proportion of fruits on the branches results in contact between the fruits and leads to damage.
• Sea wind and rain showers in August caused figs to burst and about 15% of the fruits were damaged.
• Furthermore the harvests suffered from fig endosepsis that causes the figs to rot on the inside.
• Although there will be a large amount of figs, the quantity of the high quality figs suitable for drying and packaging is low. Especially the first shipments at the beginning of the season.
The fig export was 52,836 metric tons this year. Last year the exported amount was 73,945 metric tons. The first shipment is expected in the first week of October.

SAFFRON

Iran ‘red gold’ output to hit 300 metric tons

Iran Pistachio, Iran Pistachio news Iran’s production of the world’s most expensive spice known as “red gold” is expected to hit 300 metric tons this year thanks to better rainfall, officials say. Precipitations at the start of the Iranian year in March in the Khorasan province which produces the bulk of saffron have resulted in better flowering of the plant and a rise in yield, Ali Hosseini of the National Saffron Council said Tuesday. The province, where saffron thrives better than anywhere else across Iran, produced 210 metric tons of the crop last year, Hosseini said. Iran is the world’s largest producer and exporter of the ingredient staple used to flavor food and pastries, with further application in medicine and cosmetics. First harvest of the reddish, aromatic plant dates back to 3,000 years ago in Iran. With a monopoly over more than 90% of saffron output, Iran exports to more than 50 countries across the world where demand for the pricey spice is always high because of its premium quality due to the country’s unique ecology. Sales were not dented even by US-led sanctions which have left few sectors of the Iranian economy unscathed .Saffron is a labor-intensive crop which needs 250,000 flimsy crimson red strands to be plucked laboriously by hand from about 75,000 crocus blooms to make a pound. The flowers must be picked early in the morning before the scent is lost to the heat of the day and then dried. Saffron production employs as many as 100,000 Iranians either directly or indirectly in the country of 80 million.

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