Market Report - April 2010

Posted 01 April 2010

“Unemployment and stock markets have improved."

GENERAL

Unemployment and stock markets have improved but significant fiscal tightening will result in rates staying lower for longer in the U.K. than elsewhere. The impact is weaker Sterling - good for the economy and the F.T.S.E. but maintaining pressure on imported goods.

CURRENCY

Uncertainties about the U.K. economy, ahead of the elections, caused Sterling to weaken during February. Against the $ - opened month at 1.59 and was at 1.50 as at 10th March.< /br> Against the €- opened the month at 1.15 and increased slightly to 1.10 as at 10th March.

CRUDE OIL

Crude Oil rose 5% on the London Exchange and tested the $80 per barrel level. Diesel wholesale prices also rose by 8% - traders being persuaded that the global economy continues to recover.

FATS AND OILS

Palm Oil

Prices rose 7% in Rotterdam, as dry conditions are badly affecting parts of Malaysia and the Philippines stressing palm trees there.

Soya Bean Oil

Prices increased 9%, as Brazilian yields are lower than expected and the Argentinean political situation deteriorates further, affecting new crop sales.

Rapeseed Oil

Prices rose 4% in Rotterdam, resulting from a weak Euro and strength from other competitive oils.

Olive Oil

Unchanged. A potentially bumper South American Soya crop is expected to lower prices across the oil complex.

DRIED FRUIT

Turkish Sultanas

Prices fell 5%, as more fruit is reported to be stockpiled in-store in that country than expected.

Greek Currants

Prices remain stable.

California Raisins

Prices increased 8%, as the U.S.D.A. Raisin export programme remains unchanged.

DAIRY

Butter

Prices remain weak and have fallen 6% in the U.K. Butter production is expected to decline over this year, in line with the lower milk output.

Skimmed Milk Powder

Prices continued to fall during February but recovered in early March.

Whole Milk Powder

Prices have remained fairly stable.

Whey Powder

Prices continued to decline with a reduction of 6% in the E.U. Market.

Liquid Milk

Prices have remained stable, despite an increase in milk deliveries seen at the end of 2009.

Cheddar

Prices remain stable following increases in January.

Processed Egg

Prices rose 11% in the E.U., as higher costs and stricter regulation have reduced continental production. packaging

PACKAGING

Plastics

The plastic sector has seen significant price rises, as higher production costs have been passed onto customers. The average price of E.U.-sourced Polypropylene rose 14%, given rising feedstock prices and continued strong demand. The European price of blow mould grade H.D.P.E. rose 5% given limited supply and film grade L.D.P.E. also rose 12%, as production cutbacks remain in place.

Board & Paper

E.U. paper suppliers have been adversely affected by the weakened Euro and the increasing raw material costs. The U.K. price of Kraftliner and other boards and papers continued to rise 10-15%, as demand outstrips supply.

Aluminium

Prices eased slightly during February following large increases during recent months. This is expected to be a temporary lull and prices will follow Copper, the price of which has continued to rise month on month.


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