Market Report - February 2012

Posted 01 February 2012

"Crude oil prices declined in December, reflecting continuing uncertainty about the Eurozone debt crisis."

EXCHANGE RATES

Against the $, Sterling opened the month at 1.57 and stood at 1.54 as of January 9th.
Against the €, Sterling opened the month at 1.17 and stood at 1.21 as of January 9th.

CRUDE OIL

Brent Crude prices were down 3% and ICE light sweet crude 1%. Tension with Iran is pushing prices higher in January. Low seasonal demand and threat of European recession resulted in E.U. Diesel prices easing 2%.

FATS AND OILS

Price increases continued to be seen in palm oil, with prices up in Rotterdam and Malaysia by 2% as production has started to decline seasonally in the main growing regions. The return of La Nina weather patterns will bring heavy rain to the region which is likely to delay harvesting in the next few months.

Soya Bean Oil - Prices on CBOT and Rotterdam rose 5%, as heat and a lack of moisture has affected South American crops.

Palm Oil - Prices increased 5% in Malaysia and Rotterdam.

Sunflower Oil - Prices remain stable. An expected record global Sunflower Seed harvest has seen prices fall below those of Rapeseed, offering traditional users of Rapeseed Oil a cheaper alternative.

Rapeseed Oil - Prices rose 4% in Rotterdam but fell 2% in Argentina. E.U. Rapeseed production is forecast to fall 8%, compared to last season, to 19.1m tonnes.

Lauric Oils - In Rotterdam Coconut Oil prices increased 7% and Palm Kernel Oil 15%.

WHEAT

London LIFFE Feed Wheat futures and Paris LIFFE Milling Wheat futures increased 10%.

OATS

E.U. production is forecast at 7.8m tonnes, up 6% from last season but still below the levels seen in 2009/10.

DAIRY

SMP - Food grade prices were up in New Zealand and the E.U., while U.K. prices remained stable.

Whey Powder - Prices continue to increase.

Butter - E.U. prices continued to fall, mainly due to the likely import of around 30,000 tonnes of New Zealand Butter in the first few months of 2012.

Liquid Milk - E.U. prices fell 13% on average.

COCOA

Cocoa Bean prices fell 6% on ICE and LIFFE, as a good West African crop helped to replenish global supplies. Stock levels rose 23% to 1.83m tonnes at the end of 2010/11. The U.K. price premium of Cocoa Powder over Cocoa Butter narrowed further. Cocoa Powder fell 3%, while Cocoa Butter rose marginally.

DRIED FRUIT & NUTS

Apricots - Turkish Dried Apricot prices rose 16%.

Currants - The short supply of Currants in the EU, pushed prices up 2%.

Sultanas and Raisins - Prices remain unchanged.

Peanuts - E.U. wholesale prices weakened by 5%.

Hazelnuts - Turkish prices rose 5%, as a low crop is expected this year.

Almonds - Prices fell 1% on average, due to good U.S. and Spanish supply.

Desiccated Coconut - Asian prices fell 3%.


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