Seed mix: buyers facing peaks and troughs in seeds ingredients market

By Vince Bamford

- Last updated on GMT

Seeds have been tipped to become even more important to the baking and snacks market in 2016. Photo: iStock - Lisovskaya
Seeds have been tipped to become even more important to the baking and snacks market in 2016. Photo: iStock - Lisovskaya

Related tags Sunflower Edible nuts and seeds

Good availability is pushing down the price of some key seed crops – but the situation isn’t so bright for buyers of sunflower seeds.

Commodities analysis firm Mintec has reported sesame and pumpkin seed prices at two-year lows, which is likely to be welcome news for bakery and snacks manufacturers increasingly using such ingredients in their products.

Writing for BakeryAndSnacks earlier this year, branding and product development expert Claire Nuttall said seeds, beans and pulses would continue to grow in relevance and appeal during 2016 because of their inherent health and nutrition benefits​. 

Sesame seeds

Prices for sesame seeds declined over 2015 as a result of ample supply from major producer and exporter India, according to Mintec, and are currently less than half the level they were at two years ago.

Despite some yields being affected by adverse dry weather in the middle of last August, favorable monsoon rains led to 15% year on year increase in sowings​,” Mintec market analyst Liliana Minton told BakeryAndSnacks.

Production is estimated to have increased by 20% year on year, with exports up 31% year on year.  

Poppy seeds

Poppy seed prices remain low in the EU as a result of improved harvest in the Czech Republic, the main poppy seed grower.

Czech Republic produces food-grade blue poppy seed with production in 2014 now forecast to have exceeded 23,000 tonnes, according to the Czech Poppy Seed Growers Association, up 64% year-on-year. This has been driven by a 25% year on year increase in crop yields and 35% increase in sowing area.

Pumpkin seeds

Prices have fallen sharply in recent month following reports of good availability and high quality.

There are currently no indications prices may rise again but there is a possibility that after Chinese new year more people will start buying, which may influence prices upwards​,” said Minton, adding stocks would come under pressure as the year progressed, which could influence prices.

Sunflower seeds

Bucking the downward trend in some seeds, poor harvest has pushed up the price of sunflower seeds to almost £300 a tonne.

Farmers have sold the stocks of other produce such as maize, rape seeds and wheat but kept the sunflower seeds to wait for better prices​,” said Minton. “This is influencing prices upwards in the market​.”

Seasame seeds and poppy grab
Sunflower seeds grab

Source: Mintec

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