May 07, 2024 | Industry News

May 2024 Regional Market Report News

Crop Updates


The 2024 crop outlook for artichokes is projected to be stable. Growers and producers are optimistic that the harvest in the Southern Hemisphere from August through November will recover after a difficult year in 2023. The 2023 crop was significantly reduced due to extreme weather conditions caused by the El Niño phenomenon, but all signs indicate that the El Niño period has ended with more favorable growing conditions expected to return. Roland Foods remains in close contact with our partners in the region to ensure that we have access to the highest quality products throughout the year.


Severe drought in primary growing regions such as Iran, Afghanistan, and Spain, have drastically reduced the availability of raw material for saffron production. In addition to the raw material challenges, US Customs and Border Protection has increased scrutiny of all saffron imports due to high levels of fraud in the lucrative saffron market. These factors have contributed to significant delays in the replenishment of saffron in the United States. Roland Foods takes every precaution to ensure that its' saffron is 100% pure and free of adulteration and that the raw material is sourced from ethical and honest producers.

While we are currently out of stock on the product, we are working diligently with our partners to ensure that we can source the highest quality product, from reliable producers, and we are targeting replenishment of inventories by late summer 2024.


The outlook for anchovies has greatly improved as the raw material supply has finally begun to recover after more than a year of very low fishing yields in Peru. Roland Foods' strategy to be multi-sourced in both Peru and Morocco has stabilized supply and optimism continues to grow in Peru as fishing has started to resume in recent months.

Global Supply Chain and Logistics Updates

Robust Import Volumes Continue

Import volumes to the United States have remained stronger than expected, with a continuing 10% year-over-year increase. Unexpectedly, the weeks and months following Chinese New Year did not witness the usual drop in demand as in previous years. Consequently, the anticipated "peak season" during the summer is expected to be less dramatic, given the relatively stable monthly volume.

Improvement at the Panama Canal

Regarding the situation at the Panama Canal, there is a growing sense of optimism week by week. It's no longer the global choke point it once was, with El Niño fading and steadier rainfall indicating the start of the needed rainy season. In the previous month, the canal saw an increase in daily vessel crossings, leading to improvements in delays and congestion. Depending on the amount of rainfall received, a total recovery of the canal and its crossings by 2025 is possible.

Tackling Obstacles in the Red Sea

Alternatively, the Suez Canal remains inaccessible to almost all containership operators, with no clear indication of when it will reopen. Despite this, ocean carrier networks have adapted well, resulting in more predictable transit times and service levels. Supply chains will continue to experience strain until the situation in the Red Sea is resolved, but movement into the Mediterranean remains relatively smooth for now.