Pinenuts: further hit by the impact of the weak sterling, prices remain extremely high and, given that replenishment from the Chinese new crop is still some six months away, it is hard to see how there can be any major price correction this side of January 2011. Global demand for pine nuts overall has declined at these historically high prices.

Pumpkin seeds: the availability of pumpkin seeds between now and the new crop is fast becoming a growing concern; China has now shipped its crop after its domestic requirements, and its new season supply doesn’t arrive in the UK before December/January. Despite the prevailing prices being significantly higher than any historical average for this product, China is to down-scale total production of pumpkin in favour of other better-yielding crops.

Sunflower: demand for sunflower seeds is growing in a number of applications, including bakery. Despite a continuing rise in demand, with two key origins of sunflower rather than one the US continues to push China for ’sun seed’ market supremacy and plenty of other countries across Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union producing big sunflower crops for the crushers, prices have remained relatively stable, despite the strong dollar.

l Based on information provided by ingredients supplier RM Curtis