Market – China
December was not an active month for the Chinese pumpkin exporters. Most of the European buyers had covered their needs for 2017. The domestic Chinese market stays high. By the middle of January we see a growing interest again for spot material.
The combination of the favorable price tags of the material and the interests from the market to cover longer spreads puts some pressure (risks) on the table of the pumpkin exporters in China. Right now the availability is good and it’s easy for the processor to buy from a local raw material trader.
In the current market situation, there is no need for the processors to keep stocks. This seems stable and positive but is also a risk for the processors and the possibilities for price changes for the buyers in Europe.
Two areas in the market to note are:
1 ) Quality and availability driven increase. Right now we see the market increase on the higher quality kernels. For example the prices of the Shine Skin AA from the North West (Xibei Origin) are rising. The availability is not so big and the domestic use is high. Some big processors have slowly started taking some positions of the raw material from the North West which makes other (smaller) processors consider the same. For these specific quality kernels, we expect the market will not make a huge jump, but we expect it will keep increasing during the next months. How fast it will increase is important of topic no 2 like explained here below.
2) Speculation driven increase. These days the pumpkin market is more speculation driven as the available volumes are simple high (expect some high quality kernels like AAA grades and Xibei Origin Shine Skin like mentioned before). There is a huge immediate available volume North east origin Shine Skin and the stocks of GWS are also still good.
Right now processors are not eager to offer long period contracts (financial capacity wise) or they ask for a premium price to ensure their margins. If they don’t do this, it might be a gamble to see if they can make some profit.
As mentioned before we still see a big difference between the origin prices and the local spot prices in Europe. Spot availability is high these days, due to the rising interest at the start of 2018. Right now we see the following market levels FOB China. GWS grade A USD 2.600-2.650 FOB and GWS grade AA at USD 2.900-2.950 FOB. Shine Skin A at USD 2.200-2.250 and Shine Skin AA at USD 2.900-2.950.
Advice and expectations.
Right now, the pumpkin market is at a stable low level, which gives the opportunity to buy good quality seeds at attractive prices. Especially the prices for nearby shipment are attractive. If you would like to take advantage of this favorable market, we advise to consider covering your needs until the summer period.
Please be aware that suddenly powerful processors can start collecting quantities of raw material for storage if they see growing interest for the next coming months. This can break open the market and makes the prices increase fast in a short time.