Author Archives: Mintec



Valentine’s Day: Strawberry and Chocolate Prices

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Rutika Ghodekar and Corrina Hutchings, market analysts at Mintec.

If you search online for romantic foods, chocolate covered strawberries are top of nearly every list. They are a great snack to share with your partner or with your friends over a movie while you share a bottle of champagne to celebrate love and friendship. They are indulgent without ruining all that hard work you’ve been doing for your New Year's resolutions to work on your waistline. But will they break the resolution on saving those pennies? Let’s take a look at what’s been happening in our favourite Valentine’s commodities.

Global Prices for Poppy Seeds Rise in a Challenging Market for Czech Farmers

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jara Zicha, senior market analyst at Mintec.

Prices of Czech poppy seeds currently sit around €2/kg, almost double from the same time last year. Not surprisingly, prices have been increasing in other destination markets as well, up 90% year-over-year in Germany and also rising in the US, by around 20% y-o-y. Prices in Turkey are currently up 30% y-o-y. Turkey is slowly shifting from blue poppy seed to white poppy cultivation, aiming its exports mainly at the Indian market. So why have prices risen so much?

US Cotton Prices Shoot Up, Following a Rise in Demand

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Verity Michie, market analyst at Mintec.

US cotton prices have been on a rollercoaster ride in 2017, ending the year on a high. Last April, we looked at whether this could be the end of high cotton prices. We concluded that yes, cotton prices should fall as latest figures showed rising US cotton planted area for the 2017/18 season. Our expectations became reality, as prices fell throughout the year until recently, when cotton prices rose 22% since the beginning of November, reaching high levels last seen in 2014.

US Coal Struggles to Leave its Mark

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jonathan Stokes, market analyst at Mintec.

When Donald Trump ran his presidential campaign in 2016, he did so with the pledge that he would transform the US energy market, cementing America’s place as an energy-providing superpower. The foundation of this new energy empire would be built similar to the industrial revolution, based on coal. While the rest of the world moved towards a cleaner future, would America be taking a step back?

Californian Raisin Prices Soar on Strong Demand and a Decline in Production

raisins

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jara Zicha, market analyst at Mintec.

Turkish prices have also risen since April, buoyed by soaring prices in the US, but at a much slower rate, by only 25%. Californian raisins usually trade at a premium to Turkish produce, but this year, following the harvest, the price difference between the two origins increased rapidly.

Cobalt and the Sustainability of Electric Vehicles

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Peksa, opportunities director at Mintec.

Recently I have been reading a number of case studies based on some of the world’s leading sustainable and socially responsible firms, ranging from Unilever’s work in Brazil and Danone’s work in India to Vodafone and their mobile payment systems in Kenya. One of the other favorite firms for academic research is Tesla, with its “greener than thou” philosophy. Delving a little deeper into the mechanics of batteries, however, the word “cobalt” rang a number of alarm bells.

Market Speculation Puts Soybean Oil Prices on Roller Coaster Ride

GMO

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jonathan Stokes, market analyst at Mintec.

We, as analysts, steer the market more than we like to think. A prediction or forecast one way or another can be a significant factor in driving commodity pricing. During the summer, the USDA did exactly this, surprising markets when they forecast higher US soybean production, despite adverse weather conditions throughout the crop development period. So when market prices of soybean and soybean oil shot up at the beginning of October due to the downward revisions of USDA production estimates, what went wrong?

Game Theory: Changing the Way You Think About Commodities

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Peksa, opportunities director at Mintec.

In 2014, we published an article on chaos theory, and as a continuation of this, I thought it would be interesting to introduce the concept of game theory and how you can use it to support your commodity price decisions. Game theory brings together the concept of competition and cooperation in business.

The Damage to Oranges, Lumber and Cotton Caused by the Hurricanes

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jara Zicha and Verity Michie, market analysts at Mintec.

At the end of August, the Atlantic regions suffered devastating effects from Hurricane Irma that lasted for two weeks. It hit islands in the Caribbean and parts of the southern U.S. states, including Florida. But how did this affect commodity prices?

Oh Sugar, the EU is coming!

sugar

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Peksa, opportunities director at Mintec.

One dark night in 1775, Paul Revere road his horse through the streets of Massachusetts shouting, “The British are coming!” While this may not be factually correct, I would like to be the first to shout, “Oh Sugar, the E.U. is coming!”

Could Rising Rapeseed Oil Prices Impact the US’s New Love for the Oil?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jonathan Stokes, market analyst at Mintec.

Global rapeseed oil prices have risen steeply since the middle of June, as adverse weather conditions in a number of major rapeseed producing countries have resulted in declining crop prospects worldwide. In the U.S., usage of rapeseed oil is predicted to increase 0.3 million tonnes, to a record 2.63 million tonnes in 2016/2017, due to a sharp decline in domestic soybean oil usage in the food sector.