Currency update

The US dollar is definitely benefiting from the adverse risk scenario we are all feeling, and with Sterling under pressure due to political instability we are seeing rates reach their worst position for some years.

The Euro will be supported by the ECB over the coming weeks with interest rises more or less guaranteed for July. But we are approaching US dollar parity which is incredible.

None of these movements are helpful to European or UK importers.

It is hard to see the situation improving in the medium term.

FX Monthly movement

  • US$/ £ 1.23
  • US$/ € 1.04
  • £/€ 1.17

General news

We are in the usual quiet period as one harvest is complete, and the new season crops just planted. Obviously, there is a lot of concern over the coming season, with certain mainstream crops hit by the situation with Russia-Ukraine. The impact of this on some of the smaller harvested crops, often the edible seeds we supply is yet to be determined, but it will not be good. It is likely farmers will switch area to mainstream, easier to grow and market and higher yielding alternatives. So, we expect overall supply to be tighter in the 2022 harvest for most items. On top of this the drought in South America impacted their supply and certainly other parts of the word are suffering from severe weather conditions. Canada is unseasonably cold and wet, delaying planting in an already short season. The UK is suffering one of its most serious spring droughts for some years too.

Freight rates Are being impacted by the Covid situation in China. This is particularly being felt in South America where the availability of equipment is desperate. Shipments are taking months to come out due to insufficient containers. This is going to take some time to clear. From China rates have eased a little due to a reduction in exports, but as the situation improves, we would expect these to stabilise and even increase a little again.

Pumpkinseed kernels

Demand has been weak over the last few weeks mainly due we believe to EU buyers dealing with supply issues for other products. We are approaching the end of the available supply in China so any uplift in requirement is likely to firm prices especially in GWS grades. Shine skin rebounded in the last few days as stockists considered potential demand v supply remaining. We shall wait and see how things develop but new crop which harvests in September will not arrive in EU until 2023, so we must rely on this season’s material until then.

Snow white remains tight and current stocks are ageing and discolouring as usual. We expect the plantings to increase for the coming season.

Organic pumpkin is challenging, very limited suitable material to meet the EU/UK regulations and the high-risk profile of this material is discouraging shippers from entering the market at all.


Supplies remain tight and forward offers hard to come by. Supply from Russia is off the market now with the imposition of 35% duty. Kazakhstan supply remains open but channels to obtain it are complicated somewhat. Alternative origins are available and will be offered for the remainder of this year, but require new approvals etc.

Golden linseed is very limited in supply now and potentially will be a problem in 2022/23 too.

Sesame seed

Market really remained very quiet with little buying interest. Indian summer harvest is underway in Gujarat. Current opinion seems all is OK and quality good. Freight is a major factor in supplies from all regions. Still increasing out of Central America and not falling from other areas.

As we stated earlier the South American crop was poor, but demand is not impacting on prices and sesame seems a good buy at present.

Hulled Millet

The situation is complicated by resellers and renegotiation of contracts from EU origins. Strangely there is an abundance of millet for the next few months, but then the market is vacant. It is impossible to predict the situation going into the new season. There are supplies available from India, Canada, USA but all are relatively expensive and incur levies.


Market has stabilised at high levels, and we await the development of new crop. It is hard to see any indicators to easing the supply tightness and price firmness for the coming season or two.


Very hard to see where adequate supplies care going to come from for Q4 onwards with disruption in nearly all growing regions. A combination of reduced production due to overstocking of the alkaloid straw, preference for easier growing crops and new regulations on poppy inclusion levels are all impacting on supply. We can foresee very high pricing in coming months.


Prices continue to increase due to a reduction of up to 30% in supply available in Peru and Bolivia estimated to be 50% down. Combined with a switch to red & black varieties popular in the Far East, means we will not see a price drop in this coming season. Added to the problem is the freight issue already mentioned out of south America.


The unsettled South American weather pattern of drought then heavy floods has led to some areas needing replanting, but overall, a reduction in supply. This has delayed the new crop which will now become readily available ex Paraguay in June. There is some disagreement over where prices will go, but as the harvest picture unfolds, we should get a clearer idea. But freight and currency rates will soften any potential price decline if it happens.

Get in touch

Frank Horan
Frank HoranDirector
Nikki Divers
Nikki DiversDirector
Jake Yerrell
Jake YerrellCommercial Manager
Vera Grosse-Drieling
Vera Grosse-DrielingCommercial Manager
Micaela Camantigue
Micaela CamantigueAccount Manager