Mel's Market Report July 2019
Currently, butter pricing is quite stable with little trade taking place. Skimmed milk powder however has increased, with good demand and new tenders in the air. Spot prices are up with higher prices demanded for any forward cover.
In the UK, Sugar beet yields are forecast to be higher this season after the early planting of a smaller UK crop took place in good field conditions, despite worries over the current weather. British Sugar reported this year's planted crop area is down 7% to just over 102,000 ha from 110,000 ha the previous season. However, yields are set to improve on the 69 tonnes per ha achieved in 2018, when the crop suffered from a late, wet spring. "Early planting, as a result of the mild, dry spring of 2019, should result in improved beet yields," as stated by British Sugar.
The concerns over dryness across different parts of the world are also affecting the UK prices at present. Below average rainfall since last summer has left certain areas dehydrated, especially in the south and east. However, the general feeling is that the crops in the fields still look healthy which should maximise yield come harvest which in turn stabilises pricing.
OILS AND FATS
The oil markets appear to be relatively stable at the moment with very little to report. There is a large stock of palm which is keeping a lid on prices although El Nino reports and rising crude oil levels keep underpinning any potential drops.
Sultanas – This year has been a difficult one which has seen progressively higher prices from start to finish and of late, the firmer Lira combined with tight remaining raw material stocks at origin has seen replacement prices climb higher still. As far as Turkish new crop if concerned, there are high hopes to see a crop in excess of 300,000 mts. Despite a severe frost late April, the developing crop appears to have recovered well.
Between now and new crop we can expect prices to remain high but there is some relief on the horizon if all goes as planned with the harvest.
Currants – There is a recurrent water shortage issue across much of Greece with summer temperatures often resulting in drought and severe conditions for fruit crops like currants. So far, the summer this year has been less extreme with temperatures in the low to mid 30s. Provided there are no late rains or a sudden escalation in temperature there is hope that the crop could be back up to 20,000 mts which after only 15,000 mts last year will hopefully give Greece the chance to reposition prices at a lower level!