Here is the Mintec Pricing update for the past week. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions:
• With rumours that Indonesia may begin limiting exports of vegetable oils, as well as plans to increase to its biofuel mandates, palm kernel oil spot prices soared towards the end of the week, with the Mintec Benchmark Prices (MBP) for Palm Kernel Oil CIF Rotterdam [Mintec Code: PKOR DH-0] up 20% week-on-week on Friday the 21st to $2,400/mt. The proposed biofuel mandates would see the percentage of palm products blended with diesel increase from 30% to 40%.
• Cocoa bean prices on ICE London softened in the latter half of last week after Q4 grindings figures from North America and Europe were slightly lower than expectations. In Europe, grindings increased by 6.3% year-on-year in Q4, but saw a decline from Q3 in terms of absolute numbers, falling from nearly 376k tonnes to just under 366k tonnes q-o-q. This was broadly in line with market expectations. On the other hand, North American grindings fell 1.2% y-o-y in Q4. Cocoa butter ratios continue to soften, with the MBP for Cocoa Butter spot ratio in Western Europe [Mintec Code: CBRE] falling from 2.10 to 2.08. Conversely, powder prices continue to reach new heights, with the MBP for Cocoa Powder natural 10-12% EXW Western Europe [Mintec Code: COPL] increasing from €2,400 to €2,480/mt week-on-week.
• Good demand was seen for industrial almonds last week with strong demand for standards reported out of Europe. Trades were observed early in the assessment period between $1.82-1.83/lb and the brisk demand seen at these price levels led to prices strengthening later in the week.
The last reported trade was seen at $1.85/lb on 19 January and supported by indications at this level the following day. As such the assessment for the MBP for Standard 5% Almonds [Mintec Code: NAL1] was made at $1.85/lb, in line with the transacted level and up 1 cent/lb on the week.
Logistics continues to be the main pain point for exporters with lead times having increased to 6-8 weeks since the issues at Oakland began. Reports continue to come in of shipments being rolled from month to month and “top-up” supplies at destination can command a 7-10 cent/lb premium over those sold from origin.
• In the dairy markets, European butter prices softened slightly, with the MBP for Unsalted Butter EXW European Union [Mintec Code: J116] down by over 2% week-on-week. Conversely, the market for powders strengthened, as the MBP for Skimmed Milk Powder medium heat EXW European Union [Mintec Code: J117] rose by over 2% w-o-w. According to industry players, the higher powder prices have resulted from a lack of interest and capacity by producers who would prefer to sell milk directly to the market in light of rising energy costs that make the drying process less economically viable.