Raw material prices in China have continued to climb and we are now, in sterling terms at least, some 20% higher than at the end of 2011. A disappointing Chinese crop set against hugely strong demand looks set to squeeze this market in 2012. Any respite from the new crop at the end of the calendar year cannot come soon enough. Prices are likely to climb further for the rest of this year.
Pumpkin seeds are still trading lower than the unrecognisable highs of the past two years, with prices starting to firm once again. Demand is very strong, driven by the seeds’ application across a number of sectors. Pricing is most likely to stay steady to firm for the remainder of 2012.
Pricing stability should be the order of the day for sunflower seeds. Predictably, Chinese domestic demand is rising and although this has been matched by further local planting, export volumes are reduced, while the cost of shipping has increased (due to freight rate rises). With strong global edible oil pricing, Argentina’s reduced crop has produced a further squeeze, although Eastern European production is growing year on year. Prices should remain steady to firm for the rest of this year.
l Based on information provided by RM Curtis