Over the past 2 days there has been considerable media coverage regarding a so-called global ‘raisin shortage’ which in turn will cause a major price hike of products containing raisins, notably hot cross buns.

This press release refutes the ‘shortage’ claims and aims to state the facts regarding the present world situation and supply of sun-dried raisins, sultanas and currants.

“These reports are largely inaccurate and it is clear that there is no overall shortage of dried vine fruits in the UK” said Simon Melik Chairman of the National Dried Fruit Trade Association in the UK.”

Assessing the overall dried fruit market – the UK remains the largest per capita dried vine fruit market in the world at 126 grams per person. The size of the UK market therefore attracts dried vine fruits from 12 different origins and 24 different varieties.

According to the reports from the October 2017 Dried Grape Conference held in Monterrey California, the overall supply of sun-dried raisins and sultanas is only down by 7%.

This includes Northern and Southern hemisphere producing countries – they have different harvest times:
Northern is Aug – Sep
Southern is Feb – March

The Conference tonnage report states that there was 1.33m tonnes of raisins available in 2017 a 7% reduction on 2016 (1.43m). 2018 figures are not yet available from Southern hemisphere countries. The 2017 total of 1.33m tonnes is UP from 10 years ago by c30%.

California Raisins has just over 300k tonnes available this year, including carry in from last year. New 2017 crop was down to 220k from 300k the previous year due to poor weather at key times of the year, very wet weather in Jan/Feb 2017, and then a heatwave in the Summer.

The Telegraph (online) incorrectly reported on 25th February that ‘the wholesale price of dried fruit has been pushed up by wildfires at vineyards in California across October and November last year’. Peter Meadows, UK Marketing Director of California Raisins, commented that “The California wildfires being referred to in some articles were confined mainly to the Napa Region – over 200 miles away from the Raisin drying areas in and around Fresno – so the fires had virtually zero impact on California Raisins supply”.

There is no global shortage but there has been a rise in raw material costs from the majority of producing countries and regions.

The Greek currant crop is down to 15k tonnes from previous years when it was closer to 30-35k but that has been the trend for the past 5 years.

The Dried Grape Conference concluded its report by stating, “The statistical analysis undertaken at the conference showed a lower crop due to unfavourable weather conditions throughout the countries. Carryover stocks will be limited, but it will be possible to supply normal market demands”.

For further information on this press release, please contact The Garden (Marketing & PR) Ltd via email: gate@comeintothegarden.co.uk