Pine nuts: Prices have eased then risen again over the past few months, for the following reasons: there are positive expectations for Russian, Chinese and South Korean new crops, following successive years of availability issues, resulting in prices falling from the highs of the past two years. This has put pressure on Pakistan, which will now return to playing second fiddle to the origins. Also, because importers were expecting continued price weakness, increasing numbers were importing progressively fewer containers in order to avoid potentially selling out later at a loss in a falling market. This has caused prices to bounce back, as availability has now become extremely tight.

Pumpkin seeds: There are positive signs the new crop in China will be strong, due to origin countries pushing to exploit current prices, which, although off the highs, are still historically high for the product. However, the belief that prices could fall has suddenly translated into a big decline in volumes being imported, which has caused both fluctuations in availability and price.

Sunflower seeds: Over and above the increased demand for sunflower seeds, the massive increase in applications across bakery, snacking and general food manufacturing, as well as a worrying recovery in the US dollar of late, will combine to prevent any short- to medium-term price correction.

l Based on information provided by RM Curtis