No World Shortage of Raisins

By Peter Meadows, UK Marketing Director, California Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC) and board member of the National Dried Fruit Trade Association (NDFTA)

Over the past 2 days there has been considerable media coverage regarding a so-calledNO WORLD SHORTAGE OF RAISINS!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.

According to the reports from the October 2017 Dried Grape Conference held in MonterreyCalifornia, the GLOBAL 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 – Sept.
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 2017 crop (Northern Hemisphere) is still being delivered.

California 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 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 CA 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 California Raisin
Administrative Committee via email at