Pine nuts: The Chinese home-grown crop was smaller than forecast, and the expected supplemental supply from Russia has dried up. With globally warmer weather also apparently impacting on the yield itself, there has been an estimated 60% reduction in supply and prices are now trading at levels over 125% higher than previous highs.
Pumpkin seeds: The lack of any medium- to longer-term chance of availability "respite" is likely to keep pumpkin prices firm. Replacement prices, reflecting the poor supply and weak sterling, are now 150% higher than the normal prices we experienced before the short 2008/9 crop, and it appears China does not intend to reverse the decision to reduce the land dedicated to pumpkin production in favour of better-yielding crops.
Sunflower seeds: Prices continue to creep upwards. The twin assault of weak currency and strong demand has been accentuated by bakeries and manufacturers looking to take advantage of the discount sunflower seeds still offer, compared to the ludicrous pricing on pumpkin seeds and pine nuts.
l Based on information provided by ingredients suppler RM Curtis