Exports from China has been slow over the last few weeks with not much activity, the domestic sales also are slow. 2018 has not started in the manor of which exporters would have hoped for. Demand from Europe is low as many importers and traders have enough stocks of the regular grades. The is also sufficient stocks in China with only the shine skin in the North West of China where we are hearing reports of slow deliveries. Historically the levels we are seeing in today’s market is low, buyers however continue to be reluctant to rush into the market. It may however be a good opportunity to now look at looking at securing any long term requirements.
We are not expecting any significant price increases within the coming weeks, likewise we are not expecting much downward movement. These levels can perhaps been seen as too low for the farmers and processors in China. Potentially the market may start to turn from May. This is when indication of the plantings for the next crop will become clearer but the speculation at this time may drive the market as expectation is that the plantings will decrease. Other crops offering a better return to the farmers may be utilised instead.
Demand in Europe remains slow as advised above, but on the other hand, we see also a growing interest from the market to add pumpkin in pumpkin to their product portfolio. The health benefits and growing health concerns with consumers demanding more nutritional foods should be beneficial to the industry long term. The key to this of course is raisins awareness and the drive to educate more bakeries to use pumpkin seeds as a key ingredient.