It is not usual to be looking at the end of the crop in mid-September, but here we are with 95% processed and only a week or so to go before all the factories are closed for the season.
Although rain is forecast this week, to date we have had only 1 important rain event during the whole season and that was fairly localised. However the forecast tonnage is not there and the fruit that has reached the factories is being processed at poor yields, meaning that the paste production is well below forecast, and it appears, requirement.
The fruit has been of good average quality apart from solids and the quality of the paste is good, and we expect (at least in our factories) to continue with good quality right up to the close, which will be 20th September in Sultaniye and 25th September in Tepecik. Originally we had expected to pack until the second week of October, but a combination of hot weather, some damage (from the rain) to the later fruit has reduced field tonnages and also brought forward harvesting.
Despite the shortage in Turkey - with the final tonnage now expected to be less than 1.7 m mt instead of the 2.1 m mt first forecast (although some were hoping for 2.4 m mt) - we will have processed about 98% of our budgeted tonnage at Merko and will have no shortages for present and future contracts.
The drop in processed tonnage of at least 20%, combined with the reduced yields in the factories indicates a drop of over 25% in the paste tonnage.
Best wishes - Duncan Blake