Against the $, Sterling opened the month at 1.54 and ended at 1.588 on 10th February.
Against the €, Sterling opened the month at 1.21 and ended at 1.19 on 10th February.
Prices for Crude Oil and its derivatives firmed in January, with Brent
Crude up 3%. E.U. petrol prices rose 7% and diesel prices 1%.
FATS AND OILS
Vegatable Oil prices ended the month largely unchanged as
increases seen at the start of the month were offset by declines seen
later. Soyabean Oil was stable in Argentina but increased slightly in
Rotterdam. Recent rainfall in Argentina helped to ease concerns but
more rain is still necessary in order to avoid further damage to the
crops. Rapeseed Oil and Sunflower Oil remained unchanged.
Palm Oil prices were also unchanged in Rotterdam, but fell slightly
The flour Market continues to react to the vagaries of the weather.
Even short term weather fluctuations can create uncertainty.
During the past 6 weeks prices rose 20%, given poor weather in
South America and extreme cold conditions in mainland Europe.
Fundamentally, Wheat production is forecast at a record high of 685
tonnes and Russia is exporting again. There is plenty of material,
resulting in World costs reducing over 25% from the highs of
Milk Powders - E.U. S.M.P. prices were down 5% on average, while those for W.M.P. and Whey were unchanged.
Butter - E.U. prices fell 2% on average in the New Year, as supplies increased.
Cheddar - U.K. product prices were unchanged.
Liquid Egg - Prices rose 2%.
Cocoa beans rose 15% on LIFFE following reports of dry weather and
strong winds in West Africa and strikes in Nigeria, which threatened
to disrupt supply. U.K. Cocoa Powder prices rose 3%, and those for
Cocoa Butter 21%.
DRIED FRUIT & NUTS
Currants - Greek fruit remains very expensive. Producers are
reluctant to sell the small amounts remaining, although they are
expected to start closing operations down early towards the end
Sultanas - Prices remain firm, although export sales are well down.
Domestic sales, mainly to the alcohol sector, are good and these
volumes, combined with tight supply, should keep prices firm for the
U.K. Potato prices fell 3% in January, due to weak demand.
Onion prices remained unchanged.