Pricing has been affected over the last month by significant weakening of the dollar, according to the RM Curtis Edible Nuts & Dried Fruit Market Report, March-April 2007.

Report author Mark Setterfield said that many of the products covered by the report had been hit. Against sterling, the dollar has weakened to a landmark 2:1 for the first time since 1980, said the report. "Conversely however, it must also be remembered that those countries exporting in dollars have also experienced dollar weakness and this equates to higher prices from their respective origins," said Setterfield.

Forecasts for the new hazelnut crop are down on the current crop. The present crop is calculated to be around 650,000m tonnes in shell, while the new crop estimate is closer to 550,000m tonnes. This is partly because of extremely dry weather since the start of 2007 in the Black Sea region, Turkey and Greece. "This has spiralled prices at origin upwards of 10% over the past two weeks," said Setterfield.

The walnut market "remains extremely firm", said the report, even with the compensating currency factor. "But we would strongly suggest that buyers look to cover the remainder of their current crop requirements sooner rather than later," said Setterfield.

He added that there is little to report on cashews. Meanwhile, for pecans, he said: "Even prices in sterling are firm and reflect both origin (US) strength as well as an ever-diminishing trickle of offers of unsold stock. We envisage supply running critically low."

RM Curtis imports, trades and distributes edible nuts, dried fruit, seeds and herbs