Californian raisin prices have risen sharply after a recent announcement that wines in the state can only be produced with natural grape juice.

Prices are being propped up by an expected drop in the harvest. Trade estimates are for a crop of 250,000 tonnes.

Meanwhile, the Greek currant and Turkish sultana markets are looking closely at the present harvests. With warm weather set to hold, the industry is hopeful the drying stage will be problem-free.

Trade estimates for the Turkish sultana harvest are for a crop of 225,000 tonnes.

Said one source: “Farmers may be tempted, with an eye on US raisins, to risk extra drying time of some two weeks and dry more fruit into raisins.”

Specially cleaned no9 sultanas are trading at $1,200/tonne fob Izmir for the old crop. The new crop is being quoted down to $1,100/tonne.

The Greek currant harvest “looks promising”, one trader claimed. Estimates are for a 45,000 tonne-plus harvest. Along with carryover of some 5,000 tonnes, this looks set to keep the market well supplied. Provincial fruit is being traded at E1,200/tonne fob Piraeus.