Frost damage prompts price surge in dried apricots Frost has drastically reduced Turkish apricot harvest estimates and prompted a dramatic price surge to about $2,400 a tonne fob for whole pitted No.4s from their previous $1,600. "The harvest could be as low as 55,000 tonnes compared with 90,000 last year. If the damage is as bad as some early estimates believe, prices are likely to continue upwards, albeit at a slower pace," one trader said. Turkish sultana prices continue to firm as open market supplies dwindle. "Privately held stocks are gradually being run down with supplies now possibly down to under 10,000 tonnes. The balance, somewhere about 60-65,000 tonnes ­ including approximately 20,000 tonnes carryover from the 2000 crop ­ is held by Taris, the state owned co-operative. This is putting a squeeze on the market, although with one eye on the up and coming harvest, prices may be held in check," the trader stated. The pain of the price rises has been dulled by the fall in the dollar, which many city analysts believe could be sustained. Cleaned standard No.9 sultanas are priced at about $950 per tonne fob Izmir, with No.10s at a premium of about $100 a tonne. Meanwhile, the price of Greek currants remains vulnerable as supplies are believed adequate to cover the remainder of the season. Prices are standing at about £860 per tonne fob Piraeus, but a gradual slide towards £800 per tonne is possible as new crop supplies approach. Californian raisins remain competitively priced at about 43 cents per pound c&f Felixstowe and, with the dollar weakening on foreign exchange markets, are increasingly attractive. {{CANNED GOODS }}