Mintec’s latest Bakery and Confectionery sector raw material prices report captured the highs and lows over the past twelve months, highlighting price trends that manufacturers need to be aware of for their purchasing decisions.
Cocoa prices continue to rise
“The front month Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) London cocoa price continued to rally and surpass record highs, edging up a further 1.3% month-on-month in December. Arrivals in ports are 34% lower year-on-year as of 31st December. With buyers being forced into the market, the producer net short position in London has changed little.
“According to sources, buying activity is likely to continue on dips, providing very little relief to continued increases. Despite some recent rain conducive to midcrop development, most sources expressed the view that it is “too little too late” given the main crop condition thus far.”
End of year drop for sugar
“For sugar, the ICE NY #11 (raws) front month contract tumbled 18.9% month-on-month in December. The lack of fresh bullish sugar-specific fundamental headlines has led speculators to reduce their net long position to 32.5 thousand lots as on 19th December, less than a quarter of what they held in November.
“Mirroring raw sugar futures, the ICE #5 (London) white sugar contract closed 15.6% down month-on-month. Both benchmarks closed out 2023 up by 10.4% year-on-year and 14.1% higher year-on-year for New York and London respectively. In the first half of December, the continued strong pace of operations in Centre South Brazil resulted in a new record-high sugarcane crush and sugar production.”
Wheat prices drop
“The December average price of Euronext wheat decreased by 2.4% month-on-month and by 31.2% year-on-year, to EUR 222.4/MT. The price decrease was due to the absence of new supply and demand fundamental inputs.
“According to market participants, the market was at a standstill before the Christmas holidays. Market players seemed to be well covered for the end of the year and were looking for deals into February 2024. Also, according to the USDA, European wheat production is estimated at 134.3 million, up 0.1% year-on-year and 2% above the five-year average.”
Uptick on almond prices as year closes
“The US almond Mintec Benchmark Prices for standard 5% almonds rose 1% month-on-month in December, at $1.63/lb, up 6% year-on-year. Market participants continued to note increased compression between size grades, with high-quality, smaller-sized kernels becoming difficult to source.
“Several market players stated this to be due to a combination of the high levels of serious damage and larger sized kernels, which has limited supply for smaller sized extra and supreme grades.”