On your MARK, get Ready, NOW WHAT?
Okay, the early harvest of the lower yield fruit is over; time for the conventional harvest to begin. Tunisia has started – Turkey is beginning in earnest as I write this. In Jaén region, the crush will start picking up steam next week and be in full harvest towards the middle of December. We have been to Europe three times in the past 6 weeks. We have spent a lot of time on the ground looking at the amount of rain in the regions we visited. There is no doubt that the growing areas and, more importantly, the dams/lakes/rivers etc. need a lot more rain to get to acceptable levels. More rain will not be much help to the 2017/2018 crop. The crop will be as announced UNLESS we get frost or other issues that are not typical. Any rain that comes will be for next crop, and it is important the rain comes on a sustained basis, not ALL in a small period of time.
What we have learned in our travels: Tunisia will have a very good amount of oil to export – which includes a good amount of ORGANIC Extra Virgin. For the bad news, the Italian buyers will be all over Tunisia when the price becomes suitable which, for at least a while, will stabilize that exportable quantities and prices. However, even after initial purchasing, Tunisia will be in a good position to offer quantities and good price levels through the end of March, maybe further.
Turkey is also getting underway, extra virgin for export quantities are hard to come by. Most if not all go to the local markets. However, lampante and refined will be offered in good quantities and at good levels.
Morocco will have a good crop and will have some minor quantities to export.
The major player as always is Spain. Worldwide Crop will be more than last year. Lower than normal consumption in Spain over the past 3 months left a manageable carry over heading into new harvest. Rain, or lack thereof, remains the main driver behind pricing. Rain will ease the tension in the market AND enough sustained rain will be a very good occurrence for world wide buyers. So besides that, the two variables to pay attention to as the market moves forward are: 1) How will the Spanish consumer react to the new prices in the supermarket? Some consumers have already switched to different types or qualities that they can afford. Will the price reduction be enough to get them interested and buying at the same rate as previous years?, 2) Will Spain’s producers be able to purchase enough raw material from third countries to keep the market stable and if they can for how long? It is a dangerous game, calculating how to stabilize other export market quantities.
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AMD provides a stress-free environment for quick and efficient communication – all supported by proven supply chain integrity and the latest relevant market information. With that knowledge, AMD is able to accurately forecast and assist our customers in making prudent and educated purchase decisions. To ensure this reputable experience even further, AMD is also backed by a certification from the Safe Quality Foods Program (SQF).
Ultimately, customer satisfaction is paramount. The entire AMD group is fully committed to elevating the distribution of bulk oils across the entire process.
WORLDWIDE FINANCIAL CRISIS
The withdrawal from the TPP by our administration was confirmed during the recent trip to the Far East. NAFTA is being renegotiated slowly. The goal is clear that the path is to not have any multi-national trade agreements and to have individual trade arrangements directly with singular nations. Looking forward to seeing how this plays out on the international trade markets. Certainly, a very different approach to our foreign trade.
Otherwise, Europe continues to stabilize and maintain decent GDP – at least for their economies. Spain is certainly in turmoil over the Catalonia separation issue, which will send their economic path into disarray until the situation is neutralized.
In Great Britain, the painful BREXIT negotiations are in flux and uncertainty on how the domino’s fall there, is a major question mark which will hinder economic growth.
In US, health care and tax cuts remain very much front and center to our political discourse in relations to the economy. The questions that exist, does supply side economics work enough to make up for the deficit spending the tax cuts will bring? What to do about health care, adjustments to Social Security / Medicare / Medicaid? Will the Tax Cuts help the spending class in the US the most? The US has some serious issues that need to be addressed – yet confidence in Congress getting things done is at all-time low.
NORTH AMERICAN OLIVE OIL ASSOCIATION / CALIFORNIA OLIVE OIL COMMISSION
We were very fortunate to be able to hire Joseph Profaci as our new Executive Director. He has extensive experience and first-hand knowledge of what the US market needs for Olive Oil Promotion. There are lots of opportunities to grow the market penetration after many months of trying to burn the category to the ground. The NAOOA will lead us into a new era of hopeful cooperation with the domestic industry, protect against any attacks on olive oil, develop appreciation for all varieties of olive oil, and as important work to stamp out the fraud in the market place, be it – retail / food service / or bulk. In addition, we are building consensus for national programs that will greatly assist us in building and protecting the market place for all sellers of good quality olive oil.
COSTING BY PRODUCT – BUYING RECOMMENDATION
Coverage on this is very hard to make recommendations. We are exactly in between crops. When the new crop will be ready to ship has not really been determined and finalized yet, just a tad too soon. Early shipments will most likely be at pretty decent price levels for the suppliers, as the demand appears to be very strong from many fronts. The question is HOW LONG before the very strong demand dissipates. When and If that happens will be good time to look at longer term coverage. Currently, one really has to cover their needs at least till the end of January. Deliveries in December and early January are problematic. Weather conditions are challenging in this period. Making firm commitments on arrivals is indeed very hard to do. It is our recommendation that you cover your requirements at least till the end of January with reliable and realistic ideas of when the goods will arrive.
REFINED / PURE:
This is a very different situation, however transportation issues are still the same. New crop refined will be ready to ship by the middle 10 days of December, certainly by Christmas. So holidays aside, good quantities should be available towards the middle of January. The KEY question is how long to cover your requirements. In the world of achieving the perfect solution – do not make the mistake to overlook a good result. Conservatively, coverage till the end of March will not hurt one’s position, certainly if the dollar exchange cooperates. My best advice would be to cover until the end of February especially if you are certain that your supplier is trusted and confirms availability after February should you need additional. Of all the items, refined has the best chance to get reductions after the initial strong worldwide demand slows.
This item will follow the pattern of the other two categories, with more parallel to the refined price levels. As normal coverage till the end of March is usually a good strategic place, as new crude will be available as the harvest starts to slow.
***** All these suggestions are based on a stable Euro ***** we have instruments in place to keep the currency stable with the flexibility to take advantage of a stronger dollar.
CURRENCY FACTS – EURO UPDATE
From the last time we wrote this newsletter – two months.
September 22 – 1.177
Average for this period – 1.168
High for this period – 1.188
Low for this period – 1.158
Spot Now – 1.1775
So, you can see that trading has been in narrow ranges, the real issue was the volatility during the trading day. It traded to the average back to the high often in a couple hour time span. Our concern is what occurs when the new trading policies really take effect, and the success / and or failure of the tax / health legislation.