The port situation in California is having devastating effects all around the country. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association who operate the West Coast ports are locked in a bitter labor dispute since the contract terminated this past July. Since that time, getting containers out of the port has been painfully slow, and there is a tremendous back up on the piers and in worldwide shipping. Due to the back up on the piers, cargo vessels cannot dock and unload and are therefore waiting in the harbor. Waiting in the harbor means the vessels are not returning to world wide ports to reload for another voyage. As we stand now, there is a world wide shipping problem of historic proportions, and spreading to all ports here in the USA. There are more containers to ship from the Far East than there is steamship space to handle it all. It is hard to get containers on vessels for the voyages to the USA, and even harder to get the vessels unloaded and out of the ports.
So that importers do not use the ports as their warehouse, the pier allows only a few days to take our containers out of the port. If you don’t they levy escalating fines called demurrage for each extra day beyond the free time. For all importers this has been a tremendous expense, notwithstanding the delay in getting our cargo.
A Federal mediator has been appointed to help negotiate. We would like to see our President make an executive order declaring the ILWU to get back to work in earnest, and hope to clear up to backlog in the ports, and harbors.
Read the article below for more details:
The value of the US Dollar has been rising steadily the past two weeks in quite an abrupt manner, approximately 8-10%! This is the strongest the US Dollar has been vs. the Euro in years. Despite the shifting sourcing to lower cost producers, many products still are imported from the Eurozone. If this trend continues, we hope to see some easing of prices in the coming future.
You can easily read about the rising prices of California fruit, and the short supply, in publications such as The Food Institute Report, www.foodinstitute.com. Imported canned fruits are an important component to provide the additional quantities needed to meet our growing demand. Yes,there are some companies that are importing fruits solely to be the lowest cost provider, with little regard for quality or reliability. There are plenty of acceptable quality canned fruits available at fair prices. However, as we get closer to new crop (July), stocks will dwindle, and product typically is tight, especially on fruits packed in Juice. Now is the time to partner up with a reliable source to plan your long term fruit requirements. New crop Peaches, do not get into the supply chain until August, with Pears, at least a month after, and Fruit Cocktail shortly thereafter.
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
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.