The soybean oil market indicates steady growth, despite the COVID-19 pandemic cut demand for biofuel. The competitive price of soybean oil, against the price for sunflower and palm oil, combined with the potential growth in demand for biofuels and increasingly robust environmental standards, signal tangible prospects for the further development of the soybean oil market.
The beginning of 2021 saw a sharp increase in the steel demand, while metallurgical plants were still recovering from the operational downtime incurred during the lockdown. This market disbalance leads to an increase in steel prices. The recovery of the automotive sector and other consumer industries in 2020, at a faster pace than expected, generates the conditions for robust steel demand in the medium term.
Coffee yield figures remained robust in 2020 and coffee bean exports increased, despite the disruption to supply chains caused by the Coronavirus restrictions. Home coffee consumption surged, thereby helping to offset the slump in sales following the closure of the HoReCa segment. Average coffee prices remained growing gradually through to Q1 2021.
Increasingly stringent environmental legislation and the emergence of new gigawatt-scale electrolyzers indicate that hydrogen fuel boasts the future potential to develop as a strong competitor to traditional energy resources.
The second half of 2020 saw an unprecedented increase in demand for household appliances, as during the lockdown people started to use domestic equipment more intensively. While enjoying buoyant growth, the market is to adjust to higher standards in terms of energy efficiency and reducing waste.
The closure of the HoReCa segment caused the demand for cocoa beans to collapse in 2020, while the production remained stable. This led to a surge in unsold cocoa bean stocks in exporter-countries. EU chocolate producers are now trying to enlist a range of measures to ensure stable demand and secure supply chains on the cocoa bean market.
In 2020, the production and export of frozen crab and crab meat declined worldwide; the fall in sales incurred by the closure of the HoReCa segment, however, was offset by the surge in demand from retail consumers. Global imports fell against previous year figures, but demand from the USA, a major importer, remained robust.
Over 2020-2021 period, the global rice market displayed robust production indicators. Despite a pronounced shortage of shipping containers threatening to disrupt supplies to Africa, the global rice export market continues to expand. India maintains its status as the largest exporter, boasting the most competitive rice export prices.
The e-commerce boom seen in the second half of 2020 led to an increased demand for both warehouse space and the forklift trucks required to service and maintain these facilities. The increasing use of lithium-ion battery-operated forklift devices is also in pace with the Paris Agreement regarding energy efficiency and the reduction of pollution.