10 March, 2016-
There is some uncertainty about pineapple pricing due to the low production of Thailand, the main pineapple supplier. Processing plants in Thailand are continuing to run fruit from the winter crop. This is not a normal situation; in fact, this campaign would usually be over by now, but there was no real peak production period and this is the reason why factories are continuing crushing all the fruit they can. Although supplies were good enough in December for raw materials to briefly drop down to THB10/kg, today the quantities reaching the processors have declined again, pushing fruit prices back up to THB11-12/kg. Moreover, local sources in Thailand say that supply is going to get worse due to drought, which will lead to small fruit and low yields.
There is now a question mark as to whether the summer crop will bring any relief to the severe undersupply in Thailand. The industry would usually have two months down time in between the winter and summer crops, but some analysts suggest that the factories will not stop running fruit during this period and that the summer crop will just begin earlier with smaller quantities. There is still expected to be a peak production period during the summer crop, but it is unclear how strong this peak will be and when it will occur.
The situation in other pineapple exporting countries is quite different:
- Offers from Costa Rica are around USD3500-3900/tonne 65 brix and there are supplies available.
- Producers in Vietnam are not producing at the moment due to high fresh fruit prices. North Vietnam will probably not begin running fruit until July.
- The 2016 season in South Africa is estimated to produce same volume of raw materials as 2015. Local sources in Africa say that prices are still firm and that negotiations for 2016 supplies are underway with their customers. Buyers are reportedly reluctant to fix full year contracts due to the higher pricing.
Pineapple concentrate pricing.
Offers for pineapple concentrate are around USD3300-3500/tonne 60/65 brix FOB Bangkok, compared with USD3300-3700/tonne last month. During December there were some slightly lower priced sales due to the dip in raw material pricing. Some of the smaller Thai factories were reportedly keen to make sales to generate cash flow. These trades were only for a limited quantity and for a limited time. While the Thai packers have managed to eliminate the backlogs of shipments over the past to months, a bottle-neck is likely to have built up again before the summer peak. The undersupply will be aggravated by the fact that the factories will close between July and September.