Valentine’s Day News Cast from USA (above)
Prices of A’s now riding at 1.6 million ariary+ from production. February into March will be the month of madness and probably the most frantic month of the year for sales and poaching customers among different collectors and curing facilities.
New entrants and purchases are asked $490-650 per kg depending on quantity since Wednesday Feb 22, from just about everyone on the list (www.madagascarvanilla.com – sister site for reference) Air freight on any conceivable air cargo provider from SVB or TNR runs less than $500 per 100kg total, but exporters are also monetizing the freight up to $40 per kg to make prices “CIF” for buyers who are too timid to come select and ship the beans themselves.
Exporters are likely soon going to open and sell 2016 stockpiles at peak price, while those out of stock already, pre-peak, are already trying to pre-sale 2017’s. Cuts and powder continues to show low demand and high value, as good value as 60% cheaper than grade A beans, but grade A beans and rouge continue to command the most demand.
It could be, although not necessarily, that this 2017 harvest “pre-sale” of capacity signals a drop in price later this year, as companies and collectors seem to be attempting pre-sale as an instrument like an “option” (like an investment tool whereas an investor buys puts and calls on their forecast of price performance) Asking to pre-book beans to command current prices for future harvest. From the perspective of the growers and goers, this could constitute an implicit bet in such a drop.
Quality A’s may or may not hit 2 million ariary at the farm and the curing stock house, but it looks to get a bit worse before it gets better. The summer will likely not see relief up until the fall.
MVC and our more experienced longterm clients have also encountered massive doses and deluges of fake news about the status of vanilla, rumors that reach all the way around the world, to help keep prices high for their originators. It is worse than ever this month.
Perhaps the most shocking of all is that developed countries and corporations seem to believe the statistics about harvest yearly yields, which are partially if not wholly impossible to measure in Madagascar, reliably or accurately. Countries and consumers continue to believe statistics on yearly yield, particularly from vanilla “experts” who don’t even live within 1000 miles of Madagascar, and spend zero time in the field or at the ports.
This vacuum of reliable information is only continuing, not improving, despite the obvious value and verification needs on vanilla markets this year.