Author Archives: Mintec



Crop Update for the 2018–2019 Season

GMO

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

Last week the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the new agricultural crop fundamentals for the upcoming 2018–2019 season, and there have been some surprising results. At the end of April, there was news that shook the commodities markets following adverse cold and wet weather conditions in the U.S. throughout the first five months of 2018. Reports said that less than half of the 2018–2019 season spring crops had been planted compared to the average size of plantings for the past five years. Now that we have the official USDA figures, let’s see the influence that the weather has had on the upcoming season.

Peanut Prices Surge Amid Concerns Over Supplies From Argentina

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

The peanut market has seen an uptick in pricing lately, caused by the severe drought Argentina has been experiencing, which has also had an impact on other major crops, as reported in our previous post. Prices for Argentinian peanuts delivered to Rotterdam have increased from $1.26 per kg in February to $1.49 per kg in mid-April, up 18%, quickly approaching levels seen last year when prices were in a free-fall slide due to large global supplies.

Cocoa Prices Shoot Up Almost 40%

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Corrina Hutchings, senior market analyst at Mintec. 

Chocolate is generally a hot topic, and with only a couple of months between Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter, homes across the U.S. are likely to have stockpiles. Since the start of 2018, the price of cocoa beans has been increasing rapidly and does not look like it will settle soon. Prices on the ICE NY US are up 39% since the start of 2018 and 25% year-over-year, close to those prices seen throughout 2015/2016

How the Argentine Drought is Affecting the Commodities Market

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

Over the past few months, Argentina has been hit by what could be its worst drought in 30 years. The effects of the extreme dry spell has reduced Argentina’s GDP by 0.5% compared with the previous year, where agriculture accounted for 7% of the country's GDP. Although this could have a large impact on Argentina’s economy generally, this isn’t the only concerning factor. The agricultural market in Argentina makes up around 25% of exports and accounts for 7% of all employment.

The Trade War

Chinese demand

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Michael Liberty, market analyst at Mintec.

While the U.S. and Russia have been imposing tariffs on each other since the annex of Crimea in 2014, the U.S. now finds itself bickering with one of its major partners, the E.U. While the U.S. is not directly trying to affect the E.U. market, the implications of it increasing tariffs on aluminium and steel imports will be felt worldwide.

The Volatility of the Rubber Market

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

In 2016, I spoke about how rubber prices were bouncing back after falling to a seven-year low caused by weak demand. This was true as tight supply and increasing demand saw prices stretch for a year, until the beginning of 2017, where history appears to have repeated itself. Thai rubber prices have been falling throughout 2017, losing 50% of their value between February and November 2017. So why did this happen after a promising 2016?

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.