Raisin Situation and Outlook in Selected Countries
|Unfavorable weather conditions in several selected countries lowers raisin production and exports in 1998/99 by 15 and 4 percent, respectively. U.S. exports are forecast at 114,000 tons, down 5 percent, due to reduced output. Exports to Japan, the largest U.S. market, are expected to reach a record level of more than 27,000 tons. Other important markets include the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Denmark.|
Southern Hemisphere Countries
Production of raisins in marketing year 1998/99 (harvest begins in March 1999) is forecast to decline by 39 percent to 23,500 tons. The smaller harvest reflects a sharp decrease in yields due to unfavorable weather conditions and a continued reduction in the area under vine. Hot and dry conditions in early January and mid-February, combined with heavy rain and high humidity in February, caused widespread damage to grapes. As a result, poor fruit quality is expected due to mold, bunch rot and rain damage.
Exports of sultanas fell 34 percent to 9,600 tons in 1998/99 due to a sharp reduction in the stock levels that year. Major export markets for raisins/sultanas include Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan.
Imports of sultanas in 1998/99 totaled 12,000 tons, up 5 percent from the year before. The increase in imports appears to result from the low price of Turkish and Iranian sultanas, and the reduction in Australias production. In calendar year 1998, Turkey supplied 65 percent of Australias sultana imports, followed by 15 percent from Iran, and 13 percent from the United States.
The tariff rates for dried grapes is currently 5 percent. However, the tariff rate is free for Less Developed Countries (LDCs) as of July 1, 1996.
Raisin production in 1998/99 is forecast at 27,500 tons, a slight decline from the revised 1997/98 crop. Production for the 1998 harvest was revised upwards as a result of more grapes being dried for raisins than previously expected.
Exports in 1998/99 are forecast at 24,5000 tons, down 9 percent from 1997/98, due mainly to increased competition for table grapes. Over 90 percent of Chiles raisin production is exported, with approximately 70 percent destined for Latin American markets. Most Chilean exporters have a policy of maintaining stock levels close to zero.
Domestic consumption is forecast to decline in 1998/99 based on the smaller expected harvest. In general, raisin consumption in Chile is usually small, and generally consumed in finished products such as cakes, cookies, ice cream or meat pies. Non-industrial usage and snack consumption of raisins are both very limited.
The import tariff for raisins is 10 percent. In addition, an 18-percent value-added tax is charged on all consumer items, both domestic and imported.
Raisin production in 1998/99 is forecast at 37,000 tons, up 46 percent from 1997/98, due mostly to improved weather conditions. Traditionally, about 75 percent of South Africas total production is exported.
South Africas raisins/sultanas exports in 1998/99 are estimated to decline from the previous year by 13 percent to 27,000 tons, due mainly to a lack of existing stocks to draw upon.
In 1997, South Africa enacted the new Agricultural Products Marketing Act. This act changed agricultural marketing from a controlled system to a free-market system, which is expected to allow more individuals and institutions to participate in the industry. Since the beginning of 1998, the industry has been operating in a completely free environment with additional processors and exporters joining the traditional outlet, the South African Dried Fruit Coop.
Northern Hemisphere Countries
The 1998/99 production forecast remains unchanged at 250,00 tons, a 4-percent increase from 1997/98. Production has increased by 25 percent since 1996/97, partially as a result of a 12-percent increase in the area devoted to raisin production.
The forecast for raisin exports in 1998/99 was revised downwards by 3 percent from the previous estimate to 195,000 tons, based on export data for the first nine months of 1998/99. From September 1998 to July 1999, Turkey exported approximately 167,000 tons of raisins, compared to 168,000 tons exported during the same period in 1997/98. The United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands remain Turkeys major export markets for raisins.
TARIS completed its MY 1999 (September 1998-August 1999) procurement with about 75,000 tons of raisins. TEKEL purchased 15,000 tons from TARISs MY 1998 stocks and may sign a protocol to purchase another 10,000 tons to 15,000 tons from the MY 1999 crop. Consumption estimates for 1998/99 were raised accordingly.
Raisin production in 1998/99 (harvest begins August 1998) has been revised downward from an earlier projection of 42,000 tons to 31,000 tons. The revised 1998/99 production estimate reflects an 11-percent decrease from the previous year.
Exports in 1998/99 are estimated to reach 26,000 tons, down 21 percent from the previous year. Approximately, 83 percent of Greek sultana production is expected to be exported in 1998/99. Greeces major export markets include Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Italy.
Raisin production in 1998/99 (August 1998 to July 1999) is estimated at 251,290 tons, down 35 percent from the previous season as a result of unfavorable weather. California produces about 90 percent of the total U.S. grape production, of which approximately 40 percent is dried for raisin production.
The United States is a net exporter of raisins. In 1998/99, exports are estimated to reach 114,000 tons, down 5 percent from the previous year. Exports to the largest and third-largest market, Japan and Canada, rose 30 and 4 percent, respectively, for the first 10 months of the 1998/99 marketing year. Exports during this period to the United Kingdom, the second largest market for U.S. raisin exports, fell 11 percent. Imports doubled in 1998/99 to 22,500 tons, as a result of smaller raisin production and strong domestic demand. In 1998/99, the United States imported raisins primarily from Mexico, Turkey, Afghanistan and Chile.
For the 1999/00 marketing year (August 1999-July 2000), the Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC) has received $2.08 million to market California raisins under the Market Access Program (MAP). MAP funding is currently being used to market raisins in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Scandinavia (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden), Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
The RACs primary objectives are to increase consumer and trade awareness of the quality of California raisins, and to show the products versatility in baking and other recipe uses. The bulk of the RACs budget is focused on its two largest markets, the United Kingdom and Japan. In the United Kingdom, RAC targets three audiences: homemakers, to increase usage; new generation users, for snacking and baking; and the trade, to keep them informed of marketing activities. In Japan, consumers are targeted through television ads and PR campaigns to encourage cooking and snacking with raisins. While institutions and bakeries are targeted through cooking seminars and baking contests.
Table 1: Raisins: Production, Supply & Distribution, Selected Countries
Table 2: U.S. Exports of Raisins
Table 3: U.S. Imports of Raisins
(For information on production and trade, contact Karina Ramos at 202-720-6877. For information on marketing contact Kelly Strzelecki at 202-690-1341.)