Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Corrina Savage at Mintec.
Halloween is over for another year and so its time clear up, remove the TP from the trees, pack away the costumes and visit the dentist. Pumpkins, parties and trick or treating are all things synonymous with Halloween.
Did you treat the kids at your door or were you tricked? Was it cheaper to be sweeter or did you save some green by being mean?
A lantern carved from a pumpkin is a time-honored US tradition and generally indicates whether you are happy to receive trick-or-treaters. The pumpkin market is limited and seasonal, primarily grown for processing. The Halloween demand for pumpkins starts mid-September, causing prices to increase rapidly until the end of October. However, this year, pumpkins are not a scare resource, prices are good!
The pumpkins are out, your kids are excited with buckets in hand - but you can’t let the kids go out without a mask on can you? Halloween masks are generally made from rubber, natural or synthetic. Natural rubber prices have been falling for a couple of years due to high global inventories and reduced demand. Natural rubber inventories are expected to reach 3.79m tonnes by the end of 2014, an increase of 30% year on year. Synthetic rubber prices have strengthened recently due to a rise in the costs of the feedstock, although demand is still weak. But in comparison they should be cheaper than last year.
After a hard day’s trick or treating it’s time for the kid’s party. This normal involves eating the sweets and bobbing for apples.
Apples had a good season in the major growing states, despite the very harsh winter that resulted in some tree losses. This was followed by a good spring, which helped the fruit to grow and reduced the expected losses. Weather concerns will remain until the last of the crop is harvested in November, but the production outlook is good for now. US apple production is forecast at 10.9 billion pounds in 2014, up 8% y-o-y, and 15% above the 5-year average. As a result prices are down 7% y-o-y.
Of course, the order of the evening is all about candy and chocolate, and children then rush around on a sugar high and refuse to sleep! We have charted a few other commodities that you are familiar with at this time of year.
Finally, if you don’t produce the goodies you’re sure to get tricked. Although illegal in some states, egging is a common trick. Not a good idea this year though, egg prices in the US have been rising since 2009 following increasing demand. On average, every person in the US ate 4 more eggs in 2013 than they did in 2011, and consumption is expected to increase again in 2014.
So, the cost of Halloween this year was mainly lower than in 2013 but only if you weren’t the one tricking people!