Pine nuts: Demand has remained surprisingly strong, even at the historically high price level over the past two years. Innovation has also helped cement this product into the mainstream. The positive reports at the turn of the year, that better crops in China and Russia had partly restored supply to somewhere approaching normality and the subsequent decrease in pricing has triggered even further demand and prices are now rebounding. We would expect to see prices continuing to rise over the remainder of 2011 in the run-up to the October/November harvest.
Pumpkin: The price of pumpkin seeds has improved from the highs of last year, but with China not producing the tonnage required to more than match international and domestic demand, prices appear to be on the rise again. Despite its increasing use in snacks and cereals, China seems unwilling to increase the acreage given to pumpkin seeds, creating something of stalemate between supply and demand, until another origin can emerge to remove the current monopoly away from China.
Sunflower: Prices have continued to firm since the last report tracking, as always, behind the volatile ’edible oils’ market. Still much cheaper than both pine nuts and pumpkin seeds, we would expect to see pricing remain stable for the remainder of 2011. But we are mindful that demand for this comparatively discounted product should be further stimulated by the price reason alone.
l Based on information supplied by RM Curtis