Author Archives: Mintec



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.

The Butter Market has Gone Crazy

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

Yes, the butter market has gone crazy. Normally these kind of rapid price movements are reserved for markets like vanilla, crude oil and currency, but not for shopping staples. At the end of May 2016, European butter futures had established a new monthly record for futures traded, with 1,382 butter contracts having been established. This phenomenon is not just confined to Europe; there has been an increased demand globally for all types of fats (people trending toward anti-sugar and organics).

Cashew Nut Prices Soar on Tight Supply

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jara Zicha and Jonathan Stokes, of Mintec. 

A few years back, cashews were very competitively priced, being one of the cheapest tree nuts available on the market. However, prices have soared since the beginning of 2016, currently up 30% year-over-year, at over $11 per kilogram in Vietnam.

So, When Should I Cost Model My Products?

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

Rather than speak about raw material and commodity prices, I thought I would introduce you to some of the ways I encourage people to use Mintec data. Fast-moving consumer goods are manufactured from multiple, potentially volatile, raw materials. With access to raw material prices and to your recipes/specification, you should be able to create a simple cost model.

Scallop Prices Have Dived due to Large Catches

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

Scallop prices peak seasonally at the start of the year due to declining stocks in line with the end of the fishing season, with prices rising 13% from December to January. U.S. sea scallop prices have, however, fallen 34% since March, due to not only the number of scallops caught by fishing vessels but also the size of the individual scallops.

Slow Running, Cheaper Fueling: London 2017 and Agricultural Commodities

marathon

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

It’s 8 a.m. and I am waiting for a docklands light railway train, when it arrives a few moments later, with slight apprehension I step on board. The DLR train rapidly fills up with a Lycra clad army, the air is heavy with the scent of wintergreen, menthol and eucalyptus, and there is palpable excitement and nervous tension in the air, as people chatter away. Yes, that’s right, Regain, a fantastic charity that supports tetraplegics in sport, persuaded me to run the London Marathon for them this year.