FOB prices still climbing
With Brazilian cattle prices at an all-time high, and an insatiable demand for frozen beef trimmings from Russia, corned beef importers face a difficult future. Freight-on-board prices have risen 22% in the past 12 months, and sources in São Paulo say the trend will continue.
There is also interest from China, which some believe could result in a serious cattle shortage within five years. Brazil has overtaken the US as the world’s leading beef producer, with its beef exports rising 60% in the past two years.

Healthy red salmon pack
Good fishing in Bristol Bay will result in another healthy red salmon pack.
UK importers will argue the case for prices similar to last year, based on a stronger dollar. But Bristol Bay fishermen have been paid more for the fish, so Seattle processors will be talking increases, possibly $5 per case on 24 x 213g.
“Not achievable,” was the curt response of one UK own-label supplier.

Canners start production
Spanish canners have started their peach production with expectations of a total pack of 110,000 tonnes, equal to last year’s.
Greece will start canning next week, with a target of 300,000 tonnes, also similar to last year. UK importers are pressing for lower prices to stimulate demand at retail level. Traders blame consumer resistance on a dramatic uplift in prices after the failure of the 2003 peach crop.

Sufficient dried fruit crops
This year’s northern hemisphere crops for dried fruit are expected to be smaller than last year, but of sufficient quantity and quality. Estimates are for a Greek currant crop of 37,000 tonnes, compared with 45,000 tonnes last year. Prices are likely to be kept in check by carryover.
The Turkish sultana harvest is estimated to be 220,000 tonnes. Again, carryover should provide sufficient cover for a shortfall on last year.
Estimates for the Californian raisin crop are 105,000 tonnes, but with little carryover prices will remain firm.