Almonds: The Californian almond bloom was good, but there were widespread reports of a late frost that affected a number of countries to differing degrees. This will have impacted on the final crop figure come the harvest in August/September.

Walnuts: To date, the volumes of new season walnuts imported from both China and India have been minimal. UK and European stock levels are lower than usual, but with little new demand, there has been far less activity in the processing factories and negligible purchasing from processors to farmers.

Cashews: After limited activity over the past two to three months, there has been a surge in demand, largely coming from the major European roasters and salters who have taken advantage of the stronger Euro. The bottom line is that the end-consumers’ desire to indulge in higher-value but feelgood products will prevail, despite the economic downturn.

Pecans: Sterling prices are now trading at levels some 35% higher than last year. The potential good news is that, weather permitting, pricing into 2010 should be better.

Pistachios: This market has continued to increase and to confound all historical precedents. A combination of a weak sterling, set against the significantly reduced US crop this season, with Iran largely out of the picture, has resulted in an explosion of pricing across the trade.

? Based on information provided by ingredients supplier RM Curtis