News - Tropical Fruits Market News & Focus
Market news for Pineapple core dice from Thailand
Last week we paid a visit to our suppliers in Thailand to assess the situation with regards to the shortage of pineapple core dice.
As you will have seen on the news, the army staged a coup and martial law was declared whilst we were there. Initially our sup-pliers welcomed this news as the protests in Bangkok were causing disruption and fragile confidence in the Thai currency.
Initially the only effect of the coup was a huge traffic problem in Bangkok. It is normally quite bad but the army closed several main roads and traffic was gridlocked.
In the last few days the army have closed down most TV and radio stations and there is now widespread concern that street protests will continue. In the past the King has stepped in to restore calm, but he is gravely ill and not in Bangkok, so the sit-uation is not very stable. The lack of a legitimate government, is a cause for serious concern. The army has, however, declared that it is pro business, and in particular is seeking to protect exports from any disruption.
Problems with pineapple have been ongoing now for several seasons. There are two crops per year with the summer crop the smaller of the two crops and the main crop arriving late in the year. Each crop in the last few years has disappointed.
Last year the main crop was 30% down on expectations. The actual quality of the pineapples was also poor. Drought had reduced the size of the fruits, so that they were much smaller than expected. In many cases the fruit was too small to produce a middle core which could be used for making core dice.
This lead to a big backlog of orders in November and December last year which has not yet been cleared. Again heavy reliance has been placed on the next crop coming to the aid of the exporters, and again it does not look like it will.
In summary we expect another difficult year for core dice, and high prices. Prices have been offset to some extent by exchange rates. The Pound is strong and the Thai Bhat is weak against the purchasing currency – the US Dollar. But prices are still up by as much as 30% on previous years.
Many users are having to trade up to the more expensive flesh dice, which is more available but this means that the price for all dehydrated pineapple will remain high.