The 2017 Sicilian blood orange season is now coming to an end.
Currently prices for all grades of pumpkin are stable largely on account of the fact that, so far at least, crop conditions look good. It is possible that, if these good conditions persist, we may see a gradual weakening of prices.
Castor oil prices came under some pressure shortly after our last report in mid May falling from around USD 990/MT FOB to USD 960/MT FOB by the start of June. There was however a slow upward trend to prices in the second half of June and this accelerated as we entered July when prices hit a high of USD 1,010/MT FOB, the first time prices had moved above the psychological USD 1,000/MT FOB mark since early May.
During the course of last week, prices for Eastern European sunflower rose slightly following the current strength noted in the soya market. Planting in Rumania and Bulgaria has now virtually been completed, and weather conditions have so far been ideal for a good start to the 2016 crop.
There seems to be conflicting information about this season’s Spanish strawberry crop. On one hand, it is clear that the high temperatures recorded in late 2015/very early 2016 have resulted in around 35-40% of the 300,000MT crop being harvested already, and this has according to some reports, pushed prices downwards by some 15%.
Following the dramatic falls seen in Castor markets in the first month of this year, February saw the market downtrend slowing somewhat with prices falling by only $25/MT over the course of the month. As we enter March prices have again fallen as seed arrivals have picked up as we near the peak arrival season to sit at $895/MT FOB at present, just above 10-year lows.
Czech poppy has enjoyed two good crops in 2014 and 2015 (23-24,000 tons and 25-26,000 tons respectively) and, when this is combined with generally poor demand, prices have unsurprisingly declined, and they look as if they could fall further.
All US production has declined by 1.5% to 19.3M boxes, which itself is a reduction of 7.9% from last season’s final production. The extent of the on-going decline in Grapefruit production can be seen by the fact that the February 2016 forecast represents a 33% decline since 2012-2013.
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