While entering the tail of the NH crop in-shell season, we see a significant drop in the quality out-turn. With ongoing showers in main harvest regions, farmers couldn’t do a proper sun-drying. The lower demand in recent months forced in-shell traders to store cargo much longer than usual in challenging environments.
In-shell processors have less of a concern as they covered early season majority of their annual needs within the first and second flush. Still, they also have their challenges as in-shell prices moved significantly lower, which puts pressure on their parities.
We started hearing increased numbers of renegotiations from in-shell importers in Asia. The main challenges for the in-shell exporters are delayed execution and high moisture/lower out-turn than expected.
The challenges noticed within the in-shell market can be explained by the lower demand in Kernels for the last 6-9 months. We have seen main destination markets acting with a flashlight system, meaning they buy when they have a need and then straight off the market for some time.
On one side, destination processors claim demand has come off, while the other side, we started seeing significant promotions on the shelf across the globe. It’s likely a combination of factors where financing/warehousing has become a significant cost picture for the industry and therefore continue from a short position or just simply buy hand-to-mouth.
WW320 pricing is at a wide range depending on processor type with nearby shipments sub $2,40/lb FOB to $2,60+/lb FOB. Forward demand remains strong, but Kernel processors currently have no appetite to sell far forward in a most likely bottomed-out market.
- De-stocking at main destination markets has made spot availability limited.
- Quality of the kernel arrivals has come off significantly and the industry has started raising red flags to Asian processors.
- Shell realization has come off further and is at 1/3 where it was last year.
- Nearby demand both in in-shell and kernel remains sluggish.
- Consumers remain less interested in luxury items, as uncertainty continues in current recession.
- In-shell demand hasn’t picked up as expected in the second half of the NH crop arrivals.