Pine nuts: Prices have remained stable since the last report, largely due to inactivity. Although Pakistani prices are still substantially higher than those from China, the latter’s improved supply this season, with additional quantities sourced once more from over the border in Russia, has restored some sense of pricing perspective although pricing is still way higher than the historical traded average for this product. What will probably limit any further price correction is the extent to which domestic Chinese demand has increased in the past two years.

Pumpkin seeds: Despite the Chinese succumbing to the temptation of re-planting increased acreage, in order to take advantage of the high pricing, rather than this leading to softer prices, the effect has been minimal and seems to have attracted even more demand and interest for this seed. It remains hard to see how and when the old and traditional prices can be recovered.

Sunflower seeds: Prices have continued to firm, although not at an unsustainable rate. The fluctuations in the edible oils market are a key influence, but the main factor is the comparative pricing, where, against its ’sister’ commodities of pumpkin and pine nuts, sunflower remains excellent value and demand is only likely to grow on comparative pricing alone. We forecast mostly increases on sunflower seeds for most of 2011.

l Based on information supplied by RM Curtis