Importers of Ambrosia® and Other Fine Brands
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Welcome to the SFI Market Blog

Happy Holidays from Schreiber Foods International, Inc.!

To All Our Customers & Friends:

We wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday season! Thank you for a great year, and here’s to a productive and profitable 2015!

All the best,

The Entire SFI Family

Olives: Update on the Whole/Pitted Olive Market

The smaller Manzanilla olives are in plentiful supply, yet Hojiblancas used for processing into canned Ripe Olives are not as plentiful, and are good for crushing into Olive Oil. So prices are advancing for Hojiblancas. The farmers are currently asking high prices for Queens, the larger olives, with an eye on last year’s historically high prices. They are hoping to garner similar prices to last year’s despite the improved availability this year. Further, Egyptian growers are again in the market of larger Queens with more aggressive pricing than Spain is currently offering. It is a real tumultuous time in the olive market.

TYPICALLY PRICES SETTLE DOWN IN THE BEGINNING OF THE CALENDAR YEAR. It is too early to know exactly where the prices will settle to.

Olive Oil: Global Supply Expected to Be Down, Prices Firming

The Olive Fruit Fly attack has affected almost 80% of production in Umbria, Tuscany, Lazio and Liguria growing regions in Italy. The warm temperatures of the Autumn allowed the flies to “survive” and lay their eggs on the olives and damage both quality and yield. This is the first time in more than 40 years, that we’re experiencing such a huge lack of production in the central and North West of Italy.Actually a good 30% of smaller olive millers working exclusively with local production have already closed.
Spain, the world’s largest producer of Olives for Oil, seems to also be coming up short in their production. There are several large worldwide brands of Olive Oil who can change the market either when they purchase, or when they don’t. Olive Oil is a commodity, and not one for the light hearted! Oil production is still being evaluated in other Mediterranean countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, and Greece. It appears, unofficially that the available oil supply for this year will be down from last year. Of course, all the processors/bottlers, know that the US Dollar’s value is better than last year potentially offsetting price increases, however the increases the market is experiencing is far more than the stronger US Dollar can mitigate.

Ocean Freight: West Coast Port Congestion Causing Freight Woes Nationwide

The congestion that we are currently experiencing on the West Coast has been worsening in the past week and a half, making it arguably the worst we have seen in nearly a decade.   The ILWU has released a statement saying that, “congestion is being caused by shortages and the dislocation of chassis; rail service delays, including a national shortage of rail cars; exodus of truck drivers, and long truck turn lines”*.  Additionally, there has been an increase in retail import volumes, larger vessels discharging massive amounts of cargo, and container terminals pushed to storage capacities and the peak shipping season for the holidays.

•          Truckers are continuing to impose congestion surcharges for any moves from West Coast Ports

•          Most carriers are advising all West Coast terminals have only one team working a ship, so at this rate, it will take 8-9 days to clear most large vessels; it normally takes two days.

Congestion Surcharge:  Due to the infrastructure problems, manpower shortage, and ongoing equipment shortage to move import containers over the road and rails, it is quite possible that surcharges may be applied to all import shipments, from all ports, of up to $800/container!  This would translate to about $.80/case on all no. 10 cans, and $.55/case on all tuna 66.5 oz. cases!

Our infrastructure is not capable of handling the huge volume of import containers.  We used to suggest an 8-12 week lead time, however we will begin to request a 14 week lead time to compensate for all the very real issues facing the import process.

It makes more sense than ever, to get your turns, and buy ex warehouse!


*American Shipper

Tuna: Market Update

The tuna market has been fairly steady the past quarter, however, there is always a lot of chatter about ‘single duty’ at the end of the year.  Yes, this potential savings does exist to save a bit of money, however our view is not to make purchasing decisions solely with the idea of gaming the market.  All the packers around the world are aware of the spike in business in the USA for orders placed in September/October.  In many past years, there have been lower offers in November/December when business is slower for the packers which could mitigate the single duty savings!

There are a few very large packers of Light Chunk Tuna.  They employ thousands of people and if business is slow, these packers tend to sell controlled quantities of Light Chunk Tuna at a loss, just to keep the production lines filled.  This temporary drop in prices can be misleading.

Right now, we are in one of these drops, and Light Chunk Tuna, is generally being sold by the packers at a loss.  The price of the raw material does not warrant the current pricing, so it is a good time to buy, as the chance of further declines is very small as the packers will not continue to sell at a loss, and will eventually hold the line and sell at higher prices based on their true cost and selling profitably.


Tongol fishing in the Western Pacific Ocean near Viet Nam and Thailand, is over for the season.  It is usually a very short season.  Fishing in the waters off of Indonesia for processing there is also light now.  Product is available, and pricing has been steady with not much swing up or down.   In our opinion, the better Tongol is coming from Viet Nam and Indonesia.


The fishing season for the Fall has come to an end and landings over the next few months, will be light, until the new season in April.  Raw material has been pushing higher, reflecting in higher canned pricing.  Buying has been slow by world wide importers which has created a little softness, but pricing is still higher than the summer.

Pouch Tuna:

The only form that pouch tuna comes in is flake, as it is impossible to pack chunk or solid in a pouch, without brine!  Flakes are the lowest cost of Solid, and Chunks.  The drained weight of a 1.2 kg (43 oz.) pouch of tuna is about the same as a can.  Pouches are great for manufacturers because there is no brine to drain off, and disposing of empty pouches is much more economical than empty cans!  Pouch packing methods are a bit more expensive than cans, but using flakes sometimes equalizes the cost difference!

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