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MARKET INTELLIGENCE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 20, 2017

WEATHER is playing a big role in the Far East, Asian Subcontinent, Africa, South America and the western USA. Each region is being effected by unusual weather patterns causing many growing areas to take particular caution in the marketing of their crops.

PEPPER: Vietnam continues to experience rains during the late fall and the harvesting
season. It is normally the dry season in Vietnam with hot sunny days enabling farmers to pluck the vines and sundry their pepper. Not this year – the rains and cloudy weather has delayed the harvest and late February/March will begin the harvesting of the 2017 crop. Offers of nearby shipments are not price driven but more so the availability of raw material. Crop estimates continue to be strong and new plantations should offset any rain damage, however certain provinces in southern Vietnam will be unable to maintain the amount of pepper available. Other areas will make up the difference but the southern farmers will suffer in the near term. Indonesia is also experiencing heavy rains which our sources says will affect the size of the Lampong crop in August 2017. Bangka White pepper is feeling pressure from the upcoming Vietnam white pepper production and offers have eased. Even India has had the monsoon season run until November, December and their crop estimates have been reduced. The Indian domestic market consumes much of the Indian pepper crop, and with low prices from Vietnam they will continue to be an importing rather than exporting nation. India’s ability to import from Vietnam, process and re-export will be greatly reduced. Malaysia will to supply the Far East with pepper, leaving little for the rest of the market.

SEEDS grown in the Gujarat state is also being affected by unusual rains. Cumin is likely to be affected the most, especially with heavy speculation on the Commodity Exchange. Other seeds are not greatly hurt by the rains. SESAME seed is moving higher as eastern African crops are being affected by unseasonable rains causing a shortage of the oil based sesame seed bought by the Far East.

DEHYDRATED ONION prices are opening higher than last year’s low prices caused by a reduction of the growing area, though India consumes most of the raw onions themselves.
It is not known the extent if California’s onion and garlic crops are damaged by the rains hitting northern California at this time.