FRESNO, CA — The Raisin Administrative Committee, here, at its annual
meeting held Oct. 5, voted to discontinue the two-price system for export
markets that "has been in place for many years for the purpose of stimulating
world sales of California raisins and has always been 100 percent funded by
California raisin growers," according to an Oct. 7 committee press release.
“It has been difficult during the past two years for the California raisin
industry to maintain its two-price system for export markets as export sales
have expanded” and inventories of natural seedless California raisins have
declined, the release stated.
Graphs accompanying the release indicated that global raisin production
dropped from its 2008 level of 1.104 million metric tons to 1.076 million
metric tons in 2009 and 1.04 million metric tons in 2010, and is forecast do
drop further to 1.018 million metric tons in 2011. Meanwhile, California raisin
exports have risen from a 2007 level of 102,000 packed tons to 152,000
packed tons for 2010, an increase of nearly 50 percent.
There have been various reasons for the decline of world production, but that
decline has created world market conditions that have driven raisin prices up
to levels not seen in recent years, the release said.
The committee's estimate for the 2010 crop was 293,272 tons, according to
an Oct. 8 press release from the Raisin Bargaining Association. According to
that release, “California raisin sales for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2010,
were extremely successful. Over 350,000 tons of natural seedless raisins were
sold, leaving very little inventory going into the 2010 harvest.” The estimated
2010 crop, therefore, is not expected to be adequate “to meet current market
(For more on holiday dried fruit and nuts, see the Nov. 1, 2010, issue of The