Search Results for: commodities

The More Toppings, The Batter: Pancake Ingredients

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Sam Parry of Mintec. First an article covering chicken wings and the Super Bowl and then one on pre-ordering for Valentine’s Day, so now to cover an event that fell between the two. February 12, 2013 marked the day for pancake lovers across the globe to run down to the stores and buy ingredients that they may only use once or twice a year. The standard American pancake recipe involves; plain flour, eggs, milk, baking powder and sugar.  The classic pancake batter can have many interesting twists; whilst thick, fluffy pancakes are a […]

2012 Commodity Review: Maize, Oil, Sugar, Coffee, Dairy, Plastic, and Coal

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from James Hutchings, at Mintec Ltd. Whilst the European economy appears to be successfully resisting any and all efforts at recovery, the US has had more promising signs with a continuing rise in consumer confidence and an improvement in the US labor market. China has continued to power global growth, and has for the most part completed its once-every-10-years handover of power to the next generation of political leaders. Below we summarize how 2012 shaped up for several different areas, world-wide. Global maize and wheat prices are up significantly over the past 12 months […]

Iced Tea: Are Prices Warming Up?

Iced tea has long been a favorite summer drink during the long hot summer. In fact, 85% of all tea consumed within the US is iced. As we approach the summer season, let’s turn our attention to tea and explore what has been happening in the major producing regions.

Ethanol vs. Corn: Weathering Hot Conditions

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Nick Peksa, at Mintec Ltd. On the December 3, 2012, the New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX or Exchange) delisted 59 energy products. There was no open interest in these contracts. One of these was the New York Harbor Ethanol Futures - New York Harbor is a key hub for the import, storage and distribution of ethanol on the East Coast. So this reflects a physical market for delivery on a 36-month forward-rolling contract. "The biofuel industry was pleased that Congress in the hard-fought fiscal cliff legislation approved several measures to support biofuels. […]

US and Chinese Comparative PVC Price

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Mark Kozlowski, at Mintec Ltd. The prices of PVC from the US and China usually track each other fairly closely, but they diverged significantly during 2012. Prices in the US rose in the second half of 2012 as a limitation in domestic supply due to plant closures coupled with an increase in domestic demand as the US housing market improved and Hurricane Sandy led to an increase in PVC demand for reconstruction. PVC prices in China were kept stable by a low level of domestic demand and a high level of production overcapacity. […]

2013 Commodity Forecasting: Cost and Supply Management Intersections

Last week, Spend Matters featured a recap of metals-focused commodity management strategies for 2012 (here and here), including offering a forward look into what companies should be considering and forecasting for 2013. Yet what should we make of general commodity management and related trends going into next year? A recent Bloomberg summary captures a number of salient concepts we should take under careful consideration as we plan our overall commodity management strategies going into next year. For one, it's important to keep in mind that "investors almost doubled purchases of commodities" in 2013. While there are various schools of thought […]

Sugar Cost Management: Prices Falling Steadily

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from James Hutchings, at Mintec Ltd. Despite the rise in use of corn syrup over the last 40 years, sugar remains the world's most commonly used sweetener. It is produced from sugar beet and sugar cane, with beet grown in temperate climates like those found in large parts of the US and EU, whilst cane is grown in tropical climates, including Florida and Hawaii (but predominately Brazil, India and Thailand). World sugar prices have fallen steadily since the last spike in prices seen in summer 2011. World production in 2012/13 has been revised down […]

Rubber: Both Natural and Synthetic Prices Falling

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from James Hutchings, at Mintec Ltd. Back in July, we specifically looked at rubber used for tire manufacture, but let's take a more general look at the rubber marketplace. The world's rubber is sourced from two very different origins. 40-45% is still produced naturally (in the form of latex from the sap of the rubber tree), mostly from Southeast Asia, but the majority is now produced from crude oil derivatives such as styrene and butadiene. Tires, as mentioned in our earlier post, are the primary use for both natural (80%) and synthetic (55%) rubber. […]

Gelatin: Rising Prices; Growing Asian/South American Demand

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from James Hutchings, at Mintec Ltd. Gelatin, when mixed with water, provides texture and thickens as it forms a gel around five-to-ten times its original weight. It's mostly produced as a by-product from the meat and leather industries, as it is derived from collagen, a protein manufactured from pig skins, cattle hide and bones. A small proportion is also obtained from the skin of deep water fish such as cod, haddock and pollock; this is partly for religious reasons. Annual production is currently slightly more than 0.33m tonnes and is projected to grow at […]

Rare (Or Not So Rare?) Earths

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Vajid Idrees, at Mintec Ltd. Have you ever wondered how energy saving light bulbs shine, the permanent magnetics in consumer electronics attract and repel or how catalysts, catalyse? Well I haven't either, but I know that without rare earth metals the chances are that these applications products would not work as well as they do. Rare earth metals (REMs) are a group of 17 elements, consisting of the 15 lanthanides (lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium and lutetium) plus scandium and yttrium. The name suggests […]

Peanuts: A Snapshot of World Commodity Markets and Pricing in a Nutshell

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Nick Peksa, at Mintec Ltd. US peanut prices have fallen in recent months due to improved output from the US and Argentina. At 6.11bn lbs, the US crop is estimated to have been 67% larger than the 3.66bn lbs seen last year, in part because of an expansion in the planted area to a four-year high of 560,000 hectares. On 14th October 2012, 48% of the US crop was reported to have been harvested, with 77% in good to excellent condition, compared to only 40% in the previous year. Argentina is expected to […]

Mustard Seed: Even Hotter This Year?

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Robert Miles, at Mintec Ltd. Mustard is a plant native to the temperate regions of Europe and, well known to the ancient Romans and Greeks, one of the world's first domesticated crops. It was also one of the first species actually introduced into North America by Europeans. Three types of mustard are typically grown today: yellow (Sinapis alba), brown (Brassica juncea), and oriental (Brassica juncea). Around 700 million pounds of mustard is consumed worldwide each year. Canada is the world's largest producer of mustard seeds, with about a third of the world's current […]

Commodity Update: The Phenomenal Growth of Quinoa

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Robert Miles, at Mintec Ltd. Consumers often seem to be on the hunt for new wonder foods and one example that has seen phenomenal growth in demand in the West over the last few years is quinoa. Quinoa, (pronounced keen-wah), is a grain-like crop primarily grown for its edible seed. The so-called "golden grain of the Incas" is a pseudo-cereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. This makes it a potential alternative for people who cannot easily tolerate the gluten in grains […]

Steel Prices Take a Hammering

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Nick Peksa, at Mintec Ltd. Steel prices have been falling, weighed down by weak global demand, over production notably in China, and lower prices year-on-year for feed stocks such as coal and iron ore. Restrictions on capital intensive building projects, lacklustre demand for steel and high levels of steel production have depressed the global iron ore market and reduced prices for coking coal year-on-year. China is the world's largest producer of steel and the largest consumer and importer of iron ore. It has a major influence on the price of crude steel since […]

The Silk Road: Are People Seeking Luxury Goods Again?

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Robert Miles, at Mintec Ltd. Silk was once one of the world's most important commodities, traded largely across Asia to Europe by a variety of tortuous land routes known commonly as the Silk Road. It is a natural protein fibre obtained mainly from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm, reared in captivity in a process known as sericulture. It now represents a tiny fraction, less than 0.2% by volume, of the global textile fibre market, but its trading value is well in excess of this. Raw silk currently trades at […]

Fewer Anchovies Lead to More Expensive Salmon

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Mark Kozlowski, at Mintec. When it comes to seafood consumption, the US is second only to China, consuming over 2 million metric tons of seafood per year, with approximately 90% of all seafood consumed in the US being imported. Half of that is produced through aquaculture. Workers fatten farmed fish on a high-protein diet of fishmeal in an attempt to replicate their natural diet. Fishmeal is produced from whole small fish such as anchovies, which are considered less desirable for mass human consumption. Another major fishmeal component comes from whatever products are left over […]

Almonds: Rising Demand, Rising Consumption, Rising Prices

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Abigail Green, at Mintec Ltd. With Christmas only a week away, many of us have probably heard the classic lyrics 'chestnuts roasting on an open fire' in the past weeks, but chestnuts are not the only nut that many of us buy and use in the run up to Christmas. Having looked at hazelnuts three weeks ago, it is now a good time to look at almonds, and see if they can help to sweeten Christmas this year. The US is by far the world's largest producer of almonds, responsible for approximately 80% […]

Holiday Spend Management: Dried Grapes

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Abigail Green, at Mintec Ltd. As the Christmas season gets underway and festive foods such as Christmas puddings and traditional mince pies (little pastries filled with a mix of dried grapes, spices and sugar) return to our diet, it is a good time to examine the dried grape market, and look at what has been happening to raisins, sultanas and currants, key ingredients in some festive favourites. Dried grapes are dried across the globe. The US, specifically California, is the largest producer of raisins, while Turkey is the largest producer of sultanas and […]

Rising Lumber Prices: US Housing Starts Optimistic

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from James Hutchings, at Mintec Ltd. Earlier this year, we wrote about the prospective movements on the price of lumber, and the good news is that prices have continued to rise. We commented that trends in lumber are often seen as a good indicator of a US potential prospect for economic growth, so the latest activity might be a cause for optimism. US housing starts rose by 15% in September to the highest level since July 2008, equivalent to an annualised rate of 872,000 homes. Starts reached a pre-recession peak of 2.1 million in […]

Waxing Paraffin: Prices on the Rise

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Robert Miles, at Mintec Ltd. As the nights draw in and we approach Halloween and the festive season, purchases of candles are likely to rise and so is the price to consumers. In 2012 the global paraffin wax market is expected to reach around USD 9bn, but the price of paraffin wax from China has so far been decreasing in 2012 thanks to lower feedstock prices and a lack of demand in key exporting regions of Europe and the US. All that may be set to change as crude oil strengthen in price. […]