Market Update March 7th 2023

As Q1 2023 draws towards an end, what have we learnt about the market so far this year?

Edible oils like Soya and Palm continue to track the ebbs and flows of the wider economic outlook. Some have even said they now trade more like energy than an agricultural commodity.

Is this the effect of the war in Ukraine or the sanctions placed on Russia?

What is for sure is that prices are tracking the news about the global economy. So as central bank fiscal tightening pushes prices down, falling inflation pushes prices back up.

But do not forget these are crops like palm, which will be in focus this week as the International Palm Oil Congress takes place in Kula Lumpur. Will increasing exports for some origins and possibly declining crops mean prices could rise again?

This, though, will likely be tempered when the Fed meets again to discuss the next rate increase in the US.

Desiccated coconut prices have remained low since Q4 2022, and buyers are increasingly looking to cover further and further ahead. The concern is that these low prices cannot last as higher energy costs and wage increases start to bite. Also, the oversupply seen last year seems to be ending, as traders have been running their own long stock positions. Some still have warehouses fuller than they would like, with material whose self-life is getting short. But by the middle of the year, almost all of this will be gone. So we are just seeing traders keen to restock, so nearby positions are selling well.

 It all feels like a market just waiting for an excuse or reason to start to climb.

Let's go back to market news...