24 December 1998
Roller-coaster year for soft commodities

SOFT commodities have been caught this past year in “a year of turmoil”, reports the Financial Times today.

European and North American grain farmers saw strong crop production without early weather-related fears materialising in the USA.

But economic crises in Asia and Russia depressed demand and prices sank.

Grain prices have since staged a modest recovery.

European potato prices rose sharply in November as heavy rain hit supplies from key regions in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.

Cocoa remained weak for much of 1998 despite an expectation of supply problems. Sugar too suffered a decline over the year.

  • Financial Times 24/12/98 page 20