There is no clear picture as yet on the volume of sultanas and the size of the developing crop.

What is certain is there are national elections in Turkey in July and agriculture makes up a huge proportion of Turkish industry. Therefore, the government will further pledge its support to the market where possible. However, it is unclear how the currency will be affected by the elections. Any lira strength also invariably increases local pricing. Recent rains across the growing region in Western Turkey have both helped and hindered.

The view from Turkey on raisins is that production will be further deliberately reduced - assuming the weather holds. This may well lead to a widening premium into 2008 for raisins compared to sultanas.

For apricots, the weather has greatly improved since the April frosts in Turkey. There is now every chance for the undamaged crop to flourish as best it can. Demand for apricots is extremely fickle so any further increase in prices will directly impact on industry demand.

Prune prices remain firm and are set to rise until the US and French crops are harvested from August to September.

Both the US and French new crops look to be developing well. We expect a better supply and pricing scenario in the last quarter of 2007, but expect stronger prices before this time.

RM Curtis’ trading director Mark