Californian pistachios growers have brought in a strong alternate year crop.

The Californian Agricultural Statistics Service estimate the 2003 harvest to be 180m lbs. Marketable open in-shell is predicted to reach 144m lbs. These figures compare with a 2001 crop of 160m lbs with 125m lbs marketable.

Karen Reinecke, president of the California Pistachio Commission, said: “The increase in acreage devoted to production and this year’s strong off-year crop is good news for the industry, retailers and consumers.”

n Salmon firm

The strengthening Canadian dollar is likely to force a rise in the price of 105g red salmon.

supplied into the UK.

Meanwhile, an over supply of pink salmon will lead to lower fob prices, although so far packers are holding firm at last season’s levels.

Negotiations have begun with UK private label buyers. “However, no-one is in a hurry to finalise prices as supplies are more than adequate to cover the UK’s needs,” said one importer.

Sales of salmon are heavily dependent on promotional activity so a repeat of last Christmas’ BOGOFs is expected.