The Mintec Benchmark Prices of South American Brazil nuts delivered on a CFR basis Rotterdam increased by 25% in the four-week period to 15th April 2021, to USD 4.45/lb. The benchmark has soared by 78% since the start of the new year, almost doubling since bottoming out at the end of September 2020.
The recent price rise is attributed to material scarcity in European warehouses, following delays to harvest in Bolivia, the largest global supplier of Brazil nuts, and subsequent delays to new crop shipments from Port Arica, Chile. Amid the supply tightness, sellers have been holding back from the market, and while there have been some offers on the new season crop, trade volumes are limited.
The 2021 Brazil nut harvest in Bolivia has been delayed by a few weeks, as below-average precipitation in November 2020 in prominent growing areas of the Bolivian jungle delayed the nut drop. In addition, due to subdued market prices, factories and collectors took longer than usual to negotiate on the new raw material price, delaying the start of processing. Eventually, the collections started in January, but by the end of February, raw material intakes had dropped significantly compared to last year, according to trade sources.