Diverse price path ahead for major vines into 2002 The dried fruit trade is expecting activity to slow down after the festive season, with traders forecasting a possible diverse price path for the major vines into 2002. Turkish fig prices which rose strongly in the run up to Christmas, due to shortage of supply, are unlikely to hold on to all their gains, with traders expecting a retreat of some 5%-10%, or $150-300 per tonne fob Izmir. Meanwhile sultanas may hold firm and possibly even rise, as privately held supplies may become exhausted early into 2002 and force packers to turn to Taris, the state owned co-operative which could raise prices as it becomes the sole supplier, with standard No9s being quoted at $850-$900 per tonne. Also a strong Turkish lira is supporting the firm market. One trader stated: "The overall demand/supply equation remains finely balanced. With supplies likely to be tight, Turkish sultana prices could rise as the season draws to an end in August/ September. "Nevertheless many buyers have bought forward as far as the new crop, thus removing the risk of paying more later in the year." Greek currant prices remain finely balanced as, on the one hand, some packers are likely to try and feed through price rises on the back of the introduction of the euro and also to cover rent and storage costs, while buyers will try to resist. The trader added: "With vostizzas in relatively short supply, this may become increasingly difficult to achieve as the season progresses." {{CANNED GOODS }}