Dollar weakness was the main factor influencing the dried fruit market towards the end of 2003 and it looks set to continue as a major factor in the coming months.

US raisin prices are firm, with prices being quoted around 60cents/lb c&f Felixstowe. With an additional price rise in the pipeline for the end of February, many buyers are now looking to lock in forward contracts.

Nevertheless this strength may well abate when fruit from other origins becomes available.

Greek currants remain stable, with provincial fruit now quoted at approximately E1,250 a tonne fob Piraeus.

Meanwhile Turkish sultanas prices are also stable with prices standing at around the $1,125 per tonne fob Izmir mark for specially cleaned No 9’s.

Buyers have benefited from the falling dollar, although increasing numbers of packers are preferring to price their fruit in sterling for greater stability.