The Commodities Category

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.

ICYMI: “Alexa, How Much of What I Just Bought on Amazon Will Be Subject to New Trade Tariffs, Quotas in 2018?”

Luckily, as a consumer mainly buying Echos or pairs of Christmas socks, the answer is not much. (Or at least, the passalong effects should be negligible.)

However, if you're a U.S. buying organization with a domestic manufacturing footprint, international supplier base, and significant steel or aluminum spend, the answer might indeed surprise you — depending what happens in the trade policy arena over the next several months.

China’s Single Biggest Trade Issue, and Other Current Policy Must-Knows

Our sister site MetalMiner recently launched a new podcast series called "Manufacturing Trade Policy Confidential." Procurement organizations with a domestic manufacturing footprint and global supplier networks — especially those with a significant steel or aluminum spend — take note. (If you'd rather bone up on some trade policy intelligence for work rather than half-focus on your latest James Patterson on the plane to visit your in-laws, you're welcome.) The latest episode takes listeners through China's recent setback at the hands of the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding China's non-market economy status, and which other trade cases and investigations matter in the current political and economic landscape and why.

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.

Commodity Price Volatility in the Cannabis Supply Chain: The Biggest Growing Pain?

As I write this on the eve of participating in a conference panel discussion about how corporate communications can better work with trade media firms, I can’t help but think about my relationship with the legal cannabis industry — and particularly its supply chain. Sounds like a stretch, right? Not so much.

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?

Commodity Price Risk Management: For the Many, Not the Few

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Tom Lawrence, director at Flow&Ebb. 

Commodity markets affect us all. Wild swings in commodity prices affect how much we pay for groceries, how much we pay for aluminum cans for our organic soda, how much we pay for electricity. Yet traditionally only large businesses had the budgets to pay for, and enough clout to embed, commodity price risk management into their supply management strategy.

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!”

Updating Risk Management for the 21st Century: One CPO’s Approach

Deloitte Global CPO Survey 2016

When the financial crisis struck, in 2008, Ron Wilson learned fast that his company’s approach to managing risk had become obsolete. As chief procurement officer at Wilbur Curtis, Wilson intimately knew the ups and downs of managing a global supply chain. But when it came to risk, the Montebello, California-based manufacturer saw him as the point man — and that was it. The aftermath of the Great Recession made that impossible.

From Labor Shortages to Price Swings: How Brexit May Affect U.K. Food & Drink Supply Chains

amazon

Scan the latest Brexit-related headlines, and the tone is decidedly pessimistic. Words like “turmoil,” “pain” and “severe loss” are scattered throughout. That last one comes from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, not one to mince words. With the exodus of European Union workers already underway, many industries have cause for concern. The U.K. food and drink industry is certainly one of them, as new research shows.