The cherry market outlook is more encouraging than it has been in several years. Improving cabinet sales will provide the biggest boost, as cherry maintains its share of a market that is clearly gaining momentum.
Some furniture plants may also bump up cherry purchases as sales improve, though gains in this sector won’t be as noticeable since many companies no longer produce any cherry lines. Surging exports to China will also give cherry producers a shot in the arm. We expect firming cherry prices over the next two months; even unselected uppers will show small gains.
Walnut sales will continue to rebound in the months ahead, fueled largely by surging exports to the Far East. Walnut exports to China and Japan — the largest overseas markets — were 66% and 77% higher this Jan/Feb than in Jan/Feb 2012. Combined shipments to the next five largest Far Eastern destinations climbed 28% in the same period.
Walnut use by domestic flooring, furniture and millwork plants should also bump up on improving residential and commercial remodeling activity. While walnut exports to Europe have held up surprisingly well, reports suggest demand may be slowing.
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