• 13 Jul
    Poland – It’s more than just apples

    Poland – It’s more than just apples

    Cultivated and wild, from forests or plantations, new and old, traditional and modern varieties, you’ll find it all in Poland. From sweet strawberries, to tarty cherries, crunchy apples, delicate raspberries, purple blueberries, this country in the middle of Europe with broad assortment of fruits, provides for consumers across the world. Mateusz Świętanowski Concentrates, IQF & Puree Sales Manager at Quadrum Foods in Poland tells us more.

    Cultivation know-how, often passed from generation to generation, climate and soil conditions,  result in vast volumes of fruits grown and harvested, being made available in various forms and shapes as concentrated and NFC juices, frozen, fresh and processed into other products.

    Crop to crop, each year producers, processors, suppliers and buyers face similar challenges. Even though those remain similar each time, magnitude of every factor will differ between product and impact it shall bring upon the outcome to the market.

    Weather, as always, plays a massive role. We’ve observed in 2020 very clearly, how a prolonged dry period can affect plant development in early stages as well as the damage large rainfall (as it was in May), will lead to poor quality of strawberries. Some producers did not expect grey mould (botrytis) to pose a problem this year, leaving their plantations without required plant protection spraying for the disease. Lower yield of fruit is not necessarily compensated by lower price of raw material.

    Looking at strawberry juice concentrate, its clear that prices are not very far away 2019 compared to 2020, yet quality definitely has dropped. Uncertainty is only increased with a typical Poland cold snap, which may lead to even 10°C temperature drop in 24 hours. This phenomenon falls on the  1st half of May, with typically 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th of May being the peak time.

    The cold snap is called in humorous fashion ‘Cold Gardeners’ and ‘Cold Sophie’ – after patron saints of those 4 days, it is also referred to as: Eisheiligen in Germany, Saints de glace in France, Ijsheiligen in Holland and Poscana Zofka in Slovenia. Everyone who is anyone in regards to apple juice concentrate, remembers very well 2017 when frost damage in early May, led to an unusually small apple crop and very high price for AJC. Counteraction possibilities are somewhat limited and often expensive. Quadrum Foods` advantage are ample stocks from previous crop as well as long term conrtacts with suppliers, enabling deliveries to cover demand in the transition period between the two harvests.

    Information chaos is almost as serious a factor, as weather. Estimation of volume of fruits stored after harvest is finished, usually is a combination of wishful thinking, guessing, trying to influence market to the advantage of buyer or seller respectively. The amount of raw material available is commonly incorrect and often by far. Disorganised system of creating a stable supply chain versus loyalty of farmers/producer, makes the daily production amount uncertain at best. Price at ramp delivered changes by the hour, having great impact on finished product offer. ‘Subject to final confirmation’ truly becomes yet another substantial factor, not to be ignored by industry. Our company brings that value added market insight to the table. Daily and hourly updates from plantations, fields and orchards as well as production information in regards to yield, quality and volumes, directly translates into advantage passed onto our customers.

    Difference between short term sale targets and long term cooperation might be overlooked as important aspect of price development. Quick and easy prompt loadings, helping cash flow are specifically targeted by smaller companies. Concentrate/NFC production requires huge investments not only into facilities, but every year, with short harvest period, vast sums of money have to be ‘pumped into’ and ‘frozen’ into the product, with potential revenue coming back to processors with substantial delay. Long term contracts are required by majority of clients, increasing finance and storage cost for the product owner. Bank loans and credits are usually more expensive in Poland then in EU. Financial stability due to product and client diversification, allows Quadrum Foods to manage funding of raw material purchasing as well as processing and storage, limiting the risk to customers.
    Year 2020 is yet another which brought us something new…..again. This time it affected our private lives as well as professional matters. Widespread problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic only added to the typical worries faced every year. Poland went into lockdown of proportions unknown previously by many of its citizens. This very difficult period of time, demonstrated how fragile our well-structured lives actually are. That very description applied to many countries globally and exposed problems, some of which were swept under the carpet for some time before.  We were fortunate, production facilities across the country have been kept open and running, even if with somewhat limited staff and operations. Transport has been kept running, moving goods within the country, EU and worldwide. Whilst doctors, nurses and various emergency services did their utmost and best, to keep people alive, food industry did their part in keeping store shelves full, warehouses stocked up. Various sections of the economy suffered and surely the full impact will only be known in time to come. But being in food industry seems to be the one of the crucial activities for the country.  Most of employees at Quadrum Foods have been working remotely, quickly adapting to the new environment and conditions. We’ve kept the business running, keeping it as close as possible to normal activities.

    At the time of press, we are around one month away from the new apple crop. With high expectations from producers and demand from clients, we are looking for yet another interesting, intensive, high-stake game of price war between all parties involved. Fairly mild effect of ‘Cold Sophie’ this year, rested trees from 2019s rather limited crop, so should bring a bullish harvest and price level allowing massive sale amounts. Or is there yet another surprise ahead for all of us….

     Mateusz Świętanowski is the Concentrates, IQF & Puree Sales Manager, Quadrum Foods, Kraków, Poland

     

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 13 Jul
    Citrus oils and by-products – A current market overview

    Citrus oils and by-products – A current market overview

    There are many things that can be said about the citrus oil industry. Being stable is certainly not one of them, Geva Adut, CEO of Trisun comments for FJF

    After the high rise in prices two years ago (mainly for grapefruit products but not only) and the significant decline a year ago, prices seem to have stabilized and even started to bounce back up.

    Orange oil and its derivatives (D-Limonene and Terpenes)

    The demand for orange oil remains high while future production is expected to be lower than last year. Prices are dictated mainly by the Brazilian market and because the crop in Brazil is estimated to be smaller this year compared to last crop, it seems that the supply of oil and Terpenes/D-Limonene will be lower as well.

    Mexico and other markets are also forecasting lower crops compared to last year, and therefore prices are projected to increase. In fact an increase in CPOO price is already happening, we see offers in the market at price level of 5-6 Usd/kg, and this represents an increase of 2-3 Usd/kg compared to last year’s prices. We also see offers at price level of 3.5-4.5 of Usd/kg for D-Limonene/Terpenes, depending on the application and quality.

    Lemon oil

    After significant price decline, there is a trend shift and prices have slowly started to go up early 2020. Crops are expected to be lower for Lemon in most markets. Argentina expects a reduction of about 10% compared to last crop while in Spain the trees were hit after the blossoming stage and forecast is for reduction of in yield compared to last year. This, together with constant demand, is pushing slowly but constantly the price up.

    Red grapefruit oil

    The excess supply in the market is decreasing and there are indications that the price is starting to stabilize. We see offers in the market around 12-15 Usd/kg, depending on the pesticide levels and general quality/Nootkatone level.

    White grapefruit oil

    The price is stable. Volume continues to be limited. Unfortunately, this trend may continue in the future.

    Sweetie (A hybrid of Pomelo and White-Grapefruit)

    This citrus cultivar grows almost exclusively in Israel, and therefore its supply is limited. Yet, the demand is rising. The world of perfumes and beauty industry seem to discover the unique characteristics of this oil, which are in a way similar to white grapefruit oil, but with a twist of freshness to it.

    (Note: We have not included lime, mandarin/tangerine in the scope of this article, nor other by-products such as oil-phase, folded oils, distilled oils, naringin).

    Organic certified oils

    The demand for all organic citrus oils is rising. Orange and lemon organic oils are in high demand, above all, white organic grapefruit stands out because of the limited supply of this trade.

    Regulation

    REACH in Europe is a major challenge especially when selling oils to the fragrance market (REACH is only valid for non-food). The dominant suppliers in the market have registered products for REACH but most processors are not compliant with this regulation as they are focused on the food industry. We believe that this is an interesting market and processors that will put emphasis on this direction will increase the number of their customers.

    Pesticides

    The new regulations banning various pesticides (especially the recent ban of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrus-methyl which are now banned in Europe and the United States) cause difficulties to sell significant volumes of the oils produced.

    As it was published in a few global official articles, there is evidence that this issue is starting to affect not only the oils/by-products market but also the juice segment and there were news about some cases in which big volumes of juice were shipped back to processors after finding the pesticide level exceeded the threshold.

    We believe that in the future there will be no choice but to deal more seriously and deeply with the pesticides issue, especially in mutual cooperation programs with the farmers/agriculture side.

    To conclude, in general, the oils and by-products market is mostly in a Bull market (a Rising market if to use analogy from the stock exchange market). We don’t see this trend changing in the near future. We will not be surprised if prices will go even higher in some segments.

    Prices mentioned in this piece are relevant for the time of writing this article – June   

    2020, and are based solely on Author’s opinion and knowledge. The above is not a recommendation in any way to buy or sell any product. The author’s company may have specific position in some products. Trisun is global producer and supplier of raw materials for the Food, Cosmetics and  F&F industries, with focus on Citrus oils and by-products.

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 13 Jul
    US – New study shows that children and adults who consumed 100% orange juice had higher-quality diets with more bioactive flavonoids and no negative effects on body weight

    US – New study shows that children and adults who consumed 100% orange juice had higher-quality diets with more bioactive flavonoids and no negative effects on body weight

    A new population based study published in Frontiers in Nutrition reports that the consumption of 100% orange juice was associated with multiple dietary and health benefits for children and adults.  Orange juice consumers had higher quality diets, higher intakes of key nutrients, including bioactive flavonoids, and lower intake of added sugars.  There were no negative effects on body weight.

     

    Dietary data for almost 16,000 children and adults (>2 years of age) came from the nationally representative 2013-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Washington and Albert Einstein College of Medicine and was funded by the Florida Department of Citrus.

    Orange juice consumers had diets with significantly higher amounts of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and vitamin D (adults), when compared to non-consumers. No difference in dietary fibre intakes was observed, suggesting that 100% orange juice did not displace any fibre from the diet. Notably, orange juice consumers had diets with significantly less added sugars when compared to non-consumers.

    Focusing on the intakes of bioactive compounds from plants, the study found that orange juice consumers had significantly higher intakes of flavanones and total flavonoids (children), as compared to non-consumers. The flavanone, hesperidin, is provided in the diet almost exclusively by oranges and orange juice. Hesperidin may have antioxidant properties and help promote cardiovascular and brain health.  For children, 100% orange juice may be especially important as a key source of healthful bioactives since their diets do not typically include fermented black tea, the principal source of flavonoids in the American diet.

    Orange juice provides key nutrients, contributes to total fruit intake and may also serve as a marker of a healthier diet overall. For both children and adults, 100% orange juice consumers had higher-quality diets, measured using the USDA Healthy Eating Index 2015, which also tracks the consumption of grains, fruit, and vegetables, and the Nutrient Rich Food Index.

    “National data support the inclusion of 100% orange juice as part of an overall healthy diet for both children and adults.  We show that orange juice consumption was associated with better diets, less added sugar, and did not affect body weight” said Dr Adam Drewnowski, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington and principal investigator on this study.  FloridaCitrus

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 13 Jul
    Global – Salix Fruits: “To buy, or not to buy, that is the question” … for processed lemon by-products this season

    Global – Salix Fruits: “To buy, or not to buy, that is the question” … for processed lemon by-products this season

    Special report

    The uncertainty surrounding the development of the world´s coronavirus pandemic, and the good weather conditions during the second half of March, encouraged Argentine growers to accelerate the lemon harvesting. This season, Salix Fruits, a company specialized in fresh fruit, started a new business unit Processed Products. The company comments on the current situation regarding the marketing of lemon juice concentrate (LJC) and essential lemon oil (ELO) to help with a better planning of the rest of the year:

    “For 2020 in Argentina, a drop in the lemon harvest is estimated due to the drought suffered in the end of last winter and during last spring, added to a very hot summer. Besides, the COVID-19 made the harvesting start very aggressive, cutting lemons that were still a bit small”, says Daniel Calvo, head of Salix Foods, a new division of Salix Fruits.

    This is why a decrease of 30% in production is estimated for this year and, if these numbers are confirmed, processing in 2020 could be in the range of 1 / 1.1 MM tonnes, which is a very important drop. In fact, according to internal estimates, until the end of May 400K tonnes had been processed, when last year, by the same time, the number was in the order of 500K tonnes.

    The impact of this fall in the ELO market is already evident. It is known that around 50% of ELO production is marketed with a leading soft drink company under a long-term agreed pricing scheme that is not subject to market supply and demand. The surplus is traded on the spot market, which is smaller and with a very stable demand, so in this case, the volume of supply ends up defining the prices.

    In this sense, the current season shows a behaviour opposite to that of previous seasons. Indeed, 2019 began with an over-stock of ELO as a result of the excellent 2018 season, record production in Argentina, with 1.5 MM of processed tonnes and also with an excellent content of oil in fruit. Last year it remained at high levels of processing (1.4 MM), and there were also processing record figures in the Northern Hemisphere, preventing the market from finding price stability. The impact was, they went to less than half price, from the 20/22 range, it dropped to 8/10 USD/kilo.

    “This year, with a normal (or less that normal) season in the Northern Hemisphere, and the drop mentioned in Argentina, it is expected that in 2020 the reverse process will occur. Given that the fixed price market always withdraws the same quantity, the decrease would only impact the spot market, causing prices to rise”, says Esteban Lazzo, specialist in the ELO market, and adds: “In fact, the price has currently recovered to the level of 11/13 USD/kilo, and our experience is that the demand for ELO is quite inelastic, so if there is a drop in supply in that proportion, it would not be unusual for prices to rise to the range of 15/18 USD/kilo or even more”.

    Concerning the marketing of LJC, the drop in the behaviour of supply is clear, but not that of demand, which has not recovered from the COVID-19 effect. However, a price accommodation is observed since last year, which started in a range of 2200/2400 USD/tonne, it reached a floor of 1700 USD/tonnes, and even for products from other origins, it was paid 1500 USD/tonnes. Currently, small volume operations are closed in the range of 1800/2000 USD/tonnes, for close deliveries.

    “Buyers are evaluating how the market will react after COVID-19, as consumption has been greatly affected by the change in traditional sales channels – hotels, catering, restaurants, which have suffered greatly from the sharp drop in tourism and recreation, and purchases are only maintained in retail where demand is not so strong. There is still little talk about annual programs, both due to the uncertainty of demand and the processing projections discussed”, explains Esteban Gagliardi, Commercial Manager of the company’s juices.

    Calvo affirms that the financial crisis in Argentina, the lack of credit and the stoppage of COVID-19, makes it very costly for processors on the supply side to maintain stocks and those who are in a position to wait could benefit due to a strengthening of the market. On the demand side, the choice is: buy cheaper now and expose yourself to a decrease in demand or wait for the evolution of demand and buy more expensive. “The early purchase with volumes limited to realistic estimates seems to be the best move”, concludes Calvo.

    Salix is a global import-export company of fresh fruit, an American Company based in Atlanta and has a wide portfolio of over 25 produce items, but focuses on apples, lemons, oranges, tangerines, pears and grapes. The company works with more than 80 loyal growers in 18 countries, and 400 customers in 57 countries.

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 13 Jul
    US – Frozen juice market sees growth beyond pandemic buying

    US – Frozen juice market sees growth beyond pandemic buying

    Old Orchard Brands, in the US reports seeing a renewed consumer interest in the frozen juice category, which has experienced triple-digit sales growth amid COVID-19 pandemic buying, according to data from Information Resources Inc. This information indicates consumers in the US are buying frozen juices at the highest rate seen in years.

    The reversal of trends marks a major change in buying habits, contradicting what the category has seen during the past two decades of steady declines. As states reopen and shopping behaviour patterns continue to shift, sustained double-digit sales increases in frozen juice concentrates suggest longer-term stabilization and revitalization of the category, the company says.  “While we have seen a tremendous spike in frozen juice sales over the past 12 weeks, we are optimistic that these levels will remain elevated as we move forward,” said Kevin Miller, Old Orchard vice president of marketing, in a statement. “We understand much of the initial category growth is a result of consumers’ ‘panic buying’, but the numbers have remained strong as stay-at-home orders have lifted, and restrictions have loosened. This leads us to believe that the frozen juice category, among others, has been reshaped by new consumer purchasing habits.”BevIndustry

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 13 Jul
    Brazil – FCOJ exports to EU increase, dip in exports to US short term as COVID-19 affects demand

    Brazil – FCOJ exports to EU increase, dip in exports to US short term as COVID-19 affects demand

    The Brazilian exports of frozen concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) Equivalent (2019/20 crop) are ending, and the volume sold to all destinations continues higher than that last season.

    From July/19 to May/20, Brazil shipped 1.03 million tonnes of juice, 13% more than that exported in the first 11 months of the 2018/19 season (913.4 thousand tonnes), according to data from Secex.

    To the European Union, specifically, Brazilian juice shipments totalled 723.7 thousand tonnes, 23% up compared to that in the same period last season (587.7 thousand tonnes). To the United States, Brazilian exports have decreased by 19% this season, to 154.5 thousand tonnes.

    Low demand explains the decrease in the volume sent to the US, due to the forecast for a recovery in the 2019/20 season in Florida for the second consecutive year. The state has faced several problems involving weather and plant health this season and in previous crops. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, juice sales in the American retail market have increased significantly – data from Nielsen indicate that, this season (from October/19 to April 11, 2020), the volume sold was 6.1% higher than that in the same period of the crop before.

    In this scenario, local juice stocks are being consumed. Although inventories are higher than that in the season before, projections indicating an increase in stocks are lower than those at the beginning of the year. Cepea

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 13 Jul
    US – Chinese citrus imports putting Florida crops at risk

    US – Chinese citrus imports putting Florida crops at risk

    Beginning in mid-April, the USDA authorized the importation of five types of commercially produced fresh citrus fruit from China into the continental US. According to the agency, after thorough analysis, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service scientists determined that pummelo, ‘nanfeng’ honey mandarin, ponkan, sweet orange, and satsuma mandarin fruit from China could be safely imported into the US under a systems approach to protect against the introduction of plant pests. Both industry leaders and growers criticized the move. While the imports were believed to have a small market impact, at least initially, most were concerned about the potential of invasive pest and disease threats it posed. The fact COVID-19 originated out of China only heightens the sentiment.

    Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried came out strongly in opposition to the move and called on USDA to reconsider. She argued that her opposition was two-fold. “After all that Florida’s industry has overcome and the current challenges facing our farmers, to put our agriculture industry at risk by allowing both the introduction of additional invasive species, as well as increased foreign competition, is beyond misguided,” she noted in a letter to the agency.

    The fear of invasive pests from China is not unfounded. A 2019 risk management assessment by USDA found that 22 pests and diseases of quarantine significance were noted from China that could follow the pathway of introduction into the continental US. These included three different mites, a leaf miner, eight different Bactrocera fruit flies, Asian corn borer, Asian citrus psyllid, a bacterial pathogen causing citrus greening, a bacterial pathogen causing yellowing, a complex of bacteria causing citrus canker, three different fungi (one causing citrus black spot), citrus bent leaf viroid, and Satsuma dwarf virus.

    All 22 are quarantinable pests and pose a significant risk to Florida’s citrus industry and other agricultural crops grown in the state including avocado, blueberries, citrus, peaches, peppers, persimmons, tomatoes, and many other valuable crops.  Multiple farm organizations have called on USDA to reverse the decision to allow the citrus imports from China. At press time, USDA had not responded to those calls or announced any changes to its decision. GrowingProduce

    By Caroline Calder News