The price of California raisins is set to rise, following a drop in production and exports. With the crop yet to be harvested, there is currently less than a month’s supply on hand, and the squeeze on availability was compounded by wet weather last week.”We’re into a new era of prices,” Kalem Barserian, president of American Dried Fruit Co told BB. He predicted the price per (short) ton would rise from $1,323 to $1,500, based on a smaller crop this year, down from 298,532 tons last year to 287,000 tons. The tonnage available to export was predicted to plummet from 160,218 to 100,000. Last year the UK imported 32,000 tons from California.”We estimate 20% or 60,000 tons is still exposed, with losses amounting to about 20%,” he added last week.Gary Shulz, president of the California Raisin Administrative Committee, revealed that, for the first time in seven years, supply and demand were finely balanced. “This will affect price,” he said. Prices of Turkish raisins were expected to follow suit.