Unlisted: NOVEMBER 2022 Market Update

A condensed update of the current market and supply chain condition of hydrocolloids with a closer look at Carrageenan. This follows our update last October 2022

PHILIPPINE WEATHER:

  • According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), 3-4 tropical cyclones are expected to enter/develop in the Philippine Area of Responsibility during November 2022 to December 2022 season.
  • Tropical Storm NALGAE (Paeng – Domestic Name) hits the Philippines from October 26-30, 2022 bringing cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over the eastern section of Mindanao while the western section of Central Luzon, Palawan, and Occidental Mindoro will experience scattered rains. The typhoon was followed by Tropical Cyclone Queenie, which brings continuous scattered rains and thunderstorms.
  • Gradual improvement of weather conditions will then be experienced apart from isolated rain showers and thunderstorms. Throughout the forecast period, partly cloudy to cloudy skies will generally be experienced except for isolated rains over Northern Luzon and isolated rain showers and thunderstorms over the rest of the country.
  • Rough seas will be experienced over the western seaboards of Luzon while slight to moderate seas will prevail over the rest of the archipelago.
  • La Niña re-strengthened and is forecasted to continue until February 2023 with El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral condition thereafter. This increases the likelihood of having above-normal rainfall conditions that could lead to potential adverse impacts (such as heavy rainfall, floods, and landslides) over highly vulnerable areas.

NOVEMBER 2022 RAINFALL FORECAST

Source: Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and
Astronomical Administration (PAGASA)

LOGISTICS:

International:

  • According to MarineTraffic, the Port of Savannah continues to see the largest number of ships waiting off port limits at 30, waiting for an average of 5.7 days to get into port. The height of vessels waiting off the port was more than 40 in July. In September, Georgia Ports Authority’s (GPA) Executive Director Griff Lynch confirmed it was beginning to see signs of a correction in the market.
  • In the Gulf, the Port of Houston is starting its own long-dwell container fee next month to free up terminal space for incoming containers. The port has been a beneficiary of the diversion of West Coast trade. The weekly average of vessels waiting this week is 14, with an average waiting time of 6.3 days. (Source: CNBC)
Chart: CNBC
Source: MarineTraffic
  • It was mentioned by United Union last November 10, that Around 600 workers at Liverpool port, one of Britain’s busiest ports, will end strike action after agreeing on a pay deal with Peel Ports. United Union said workers had voted “overwhelmingly in favor” of pay rises worth 14.3%-18.5% negotiated earlier this week, ending a wave of strike action that began on Sept. 19. (reuters.com)
  • On the other hand, America is experiencing a risk of a national freight rail strike by the first week of December as the rail unions rejected the current deal and instead pushed for a contract agreement that included pay increases along with changes to railroads’ attendance policies. If this strike emerges, it is expected that 30% of the nation’s freight movements will shut down and will cause widespread disruption in the US supply chain and Economy. (politico.com)
  • According to Politico, 25 percent of the coalition voted to reject the contract while the other seven unions voted to ratify the said contract. The votes of the two remaining largest unions are currently pending.
Freight railroad union ratification vote results, deadlines and representation
Source: Unions, National Rail Labor Conference
Eleanor Mueller and Nick Niedzwiadek / POLITICO

Local:

  • Philippine ports’ cargo volume declined 1.66% in the first nine months of 2022, as exports dipped in double digits, according to data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). Cargoes handled by ports under the PPA’s jurisdiction reached 196.81 million metric tons (MT) from January to September 2022, down from 200.14 million MT in the same period last year. (Source: Portcalls Asia)
  • Import cargoes increased 3% to 72.28 million MT from 70.17 million MT, while exports dropped 16.62% to 48.21 million MT from 57.82 million MT. Domestic cargoes, meanwhile, grew 5.78% to 76.32 million MT from 72.15 million MT. (Source: Portcalls Asia)

SEAWEEDS AND CARRAGEENAN:

  • E. cottonii’s supply is gradually stabilizing. Although, the quality of E. cottonii is affected by domestic weather conditions, especially excessive rains and rough seas that forced farmers to harvest the crops untimely resulting in low-yield finished goods.
  • The recent typhoon affects the seaweed farm areas in the Bicol region, Quezon Provinces, and Bohol.
  • E. spinosum’s supply is adequate to meet the current market demands and is forecasted to greatly increase this coming harvest season in November and December.

OTHER HYDROCOLLOIDS:

  • Konjac Gum – Severe drought in China reached the konjac farms according to Hubei Yizhi. Despite the beginning of harvest season last October, there are delays in harvest and an insufficient supply of Konjac finished goods brought by the current drought in China.
  • Locust Bean Gum – According to suppliers, purchasing raw materials was hampered due to certain weather conditions. Also, the supply from Morocco is insufficient due to the severe drought brought the winter season. Price slightly increases due to the latter conflict.
  • Tara Gum –  The crops of Tara raw materials greatly increase in comparison to the previous years. The price remains stable as the harvest season will continue until November 2022 to December 2022.
  • Monoglyceride – Southeast Asia is experiencing a rare third consecutive La Nina weather pattern, resulting in a production output decline, especially in Palm oil production (the main raw material in Monodi production). As of now, the price remains stable but it is forecasted that in the next few months price will increase further due to the excessive rain caused by La Nina and the rising demand in the biofuel and food industry.
  • Xanthan Gum – The supply of Xanthan gum remains short due to the significant impact of the energy crisis in China last 2021 that result in reduced production capacity. According to suppliers, severe order backlogs occurred in the past months and forecasted that it will take until next year to clear. In addition, the USA has seen questions on customs and duties for import from Chinese xanthan affect its supply, emanating from the anti-dumping lawsuit brought to light last 2013. As a reminder, anyone experiencing shortages from one hydrocolloid (xanthan, starch, etc.) can discuss thickening alternatives from other food gums with sales but note that there are often tradeoffs to consider in the end product for a perfect match.
  • Dextrose Monohydrate and Maltodextrin – According to suppliers,  the supply is sufficient as the demand remains low due to the Chinese government’s COVID-19 restrictions. On the other hand, occurring price fluctuation is driven by currency revaluation and devaluation.
  • Guar Gum – the new crops have arrived in the market in good quantity. Currently, the demand for guar gum remains elevated driving the price to increase.

RECOMMENDATION:

  • Abnormal freight delays vary from different countries. We advise our clients to avoid last-minute orders to avoid the risk of having shipments stuck at the port and consider adding a minimum of four (4) weeks lead time in your material planning to ensure on-time production.
  • Advance planning of your requirement a quarter ahead is highly recommended with caution to only cover your firm’s needs to assist in reaching a more sustainable balance between the supply and demand of raw materials. Your forecast will be welcomed by our Sales team.