Overall supply has been adequate from South America. Much of the raw material used is landed in Arica, Chile, the very northern area of Chile, on the border of Peru. Pricing has been stable over the past year or so.
There are unsubstantiated reports of raw material shortages in Morocco, a major source of supply of Anchovies. If proven, this will certainly put pressure on the South American availability and pricing. It is our opinion that the fish from South American Pacific are slightly larger and give a better appearance vs the Moroccan fish; that product is commonly imported from China, and processed in Morocco.
The entire market has been turbulent these past few months. We have seen the market for light meat Skipjack take a steady decline in price due to very low demand. The market hit what appears to be the bottom and has begun moving up.
Albacore raw material has been very short in supply through the Spring, typically the better fishing season. Prices have risen steadily and raw material is not always available on demand. For those that buy Albacore by the container load, it is best you plan further ahead.
Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, began June 28th. Typically, factories in Muslim countries work on a limited schedule during Ramadan. This is affecting production of Albacore in Indonesia, a major source.
Typically, the Fall is a hectic time for tuna factories for end of the year shipments so we are anticipating a firm trend in tuna pricing through the end of the year.
As reported last year, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 “The Year of the Quinoa”, stating that the extraordinary super grain could have a significant impact on the anti-hunger fight.
Unfortunately that fight is far from over. Quinoa, however, has grown immensely in popularity on restaurant menus and in home-cooked recipes in the Western world. Superfoods have increased in demand, altering eating habits and shaking up the food industry over the past decade. The nutritional benefits of quinoa way surpass those of any other grain we eat: it’s high in protein, antioxidants, fiber, iron, Omega 3’s, etc., plus it gets a tremendous boost from a growing demand for gluten-free foods.
The U.S. import of quinoa increased to over 14 million pounds in 2013, from 1.6 million pounds in 2007 and in the same time period its price more than doubled, from about $3.50/lb to $7.50/lb in retail stores. This year has been challenging since the overall demand way surpassed the volume of supply from the two largest source countries, Peru and Bolivia. On top of that, large batches of quinoa were rejected entry by FDA for illegal pesticide residues. Like several other importers, we were out of stock of certain pack sizes for a while but we expect to be in stock again very soon. We only import quinoa that’s accompanied by detailed lab reports showing that it’s pesticide-free.
North America’s largest Specialty Food & Beverage Event was held in the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, from June 29th through July 1st. There were over 200,000 products on display, including confections, cheese, coffee, spices, ethnic/natural/organic food and more. Over 2,400 exhibitors presented their best and latest from 80 countries and regions in order to draw the attention of about 25,000 qualified buyers from all over the world. As every year, the Summer Fancy Food Show was a must-attend event for food and beverage professionals, potential buyers, decision makers from all segments of the food business, as well as for food lovers. The Fancy Food show provides an excellent opportunity for our buyers to meet face-to-face with suppliers from all over the world and get an update on crops, product availability and prices.
Update – 7/16/2014
Please follow the link below to the July 14th press release of the Specialty Food Association about the 2014 Summer Fancy Food Show and mark your calendars with the future show dates:
- Winter Fancy Food Show: Jan. 11–13, 2015, Moscone Center, San Francisco
- Summer Fancy Food Show: June 28–30, 2015, Javits Center, New York
The mandarin situation seems to have changed in China very quickly. As reported earlier, packers were dealing with a substantial carryover from the 2012/13 season at the beginning of the production; however, those lower-priced stocks have dried up quickly and the shortage of the 2013/14 crop became promptly evident. Raw material prices tripled between end November and January, forcing a third of the mandarin packers to abandon packing altogether. This shorter capacity, strong domestic demand, expensive labor and energy costs, as well as the early Chinese New Year that normally marks the end of the season, have all contributed to the sudden increase of mandarin orange prices. After the initial offerings packers quickly withdraw their offers and have since been holding their prices steady at a level that’s about 30% higher than last year’s. Unsold stocks aren’t substantial and prices are expected to go even higher by the summer.