Pine nuts: These have had one of the worst seasons on record. The reduced Chinese crop, together with the failure of supplemental Russian and Siberian material to make it across the border into China, combined to create a massive shortage in a season that saw exponential growth in the development of pine nuts. China reports another poor crop, although the key to the total supply into 2010 remains on the additional supply from Russia predominantly, which will or won’t make up another shortfall. Pakistani pine nuts have made a greater appearance over the past season and although they offer a price saving, it has been suggested that the quality, appearance and sizing are inferior to China.
Pumpkin seeds: After a dramatic season of under-supply and increased demand, China appears to be continuing its policy of further plantations of better-yielding oil seed crops, which, per acre, deliver a better return, albeit at lower pricing per kilo, than the excessively priced, but poor-yielding pumpkins. This has been further exacerbated by a poor crop reported this season in Austria. Prices look to be firm overall into 2010.
Sunflower seeds: Compared to pine nuts and pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds present a substantial cost saving. This will almost certainly stimulate greater demand for sunflower in its own right and as an ingredient in bakery, manufacturing and seed mixes alike.
l Based on information provided by ingredients supplier RM Curtis