"Prices for raisins from Turkey are 15% higher than only three to four weeks ago and in the short term show no sign of any weakness," said Mark Setterfield RM Curtis’ trading director, in the company’s new report Edible Nuts & Dried Fruit Market Report: August, September 2007.

"Provided the weather holds in California, the US might enjoy its best exports into Europe for years," said Setterfield. "However, some factories and users are already trying to take advantage of an excellent Iranian vine fruit crop, the sales of which are already impacting significantly on some traditional Turkish markets."

The raisin crop from Greece still remains unclear, as it was reduced by the very hot summer and subsequent fires.

The Greece and Turkish sultana supply this year "looks critically short", added Setterfield, with demand based on the 06-07 season, which was larger than the reduced supply this season.

"Prices of sultanas from Turkey have risen dramatically over the past three to four weeks and offers not confirmed one day are withdrawn the next," said Setterfield. Turkish exports for September are already as much as 40% down on total sales against September 2006.

In currants, the situation in Greece is little better than Turkey, following the very hot summer which reduced the currant crop to estimates of 25,000 tonne (from earlier expectations of 35,000 tonnes). Although there are supplies from the 06/07 "bumper" crop, it looks like this will be needed in full to make up the shortages from both the weather and subsequent fires."