Commodity Blog

Feb 25 2021

Recap of our CPN Livestream Series Featuring Mintec

Recently we hosted an exciting CPN Livestream Session featuring Spencer Wicks, CEO at Mintec and Mark Haraburda, Barchart’s CEO. The livestream provided attendees with an in-depth look into the cmdty Pricing Network (CPN) and the data being provided by Mintec, a leading provider of global food pricing data and analysis. Don’t worry if you weren’t able to attend - we’ll fill you in now.

Mark kicked off the webinar by first, introducing our guest, Spencer Wicks, and secondly, telling us a little more bit about the CPN, a network which provides price data focused around various segments within commodity markets from third party contributors to our network. We make this data available through our commodity trading platform, cmdtyView, as well as through APIs, and enterprise data solutions.

Mark then gave the floor over to Spencer to explain a little about Mintec and what their mission is. Mintec is a commodity prices and analytics business focused on food, beverage, and other consumer packaged goods. They have a global footprint with the heart of their product being wholesale commodity prices, but starting out, they more specifically reported on soft commodities such as cocoa and sugar. 

Spencer explained that typically the largest spend for companies is on raw materials, which is where Mintec jumps in. Mintec is able to put its arms around a global database and give users domestic and international prices for pretty much everything on the shelf and in the supply chain, giving these companies visibility on their spend. One of their key tools, the cost modeling function, allows users to view the ingredient prices needed to assemble the entire manufactured end product.

Mark and Spencer then switched gears to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted not only Mintec, but the whole food and beverage industry. Spencer thinks that the best way to look at it is through the different phases and influences throughout the entire year - being in and out of lockdown, rules loosening and then tightening backup, and so on. He stated that food prices followed those phases. March and May of last year had the steepest drops and the steepest rises, because of factors all coming together at once, like logistics restrictions. Spencer gave us an example - spices. For the most part, North America receives their spices from different parts of the world. When ports closed and restrictions tightened, prices for spices went through the roof. 

We saw prices for things like flour, rice, and fish products heavily impacted because people weren’t going to restaurants or cafes to eat. We also started to seek out more foods for health reasons, so this impacted pricing for fruits and vegetables as well. Spencer also touched on labor shortages being the last big factor that impacted food prices - affecting fruit picking and meat packaging. Since then, the food supply chain has readjusted and found new strategies to figure things out, although there are still a few issues that need to be sorted out, like freight, consumer demands, packing and more that end up affecting food prices.

Spencer then pointed out a few Mintec commodity prices showcased on cmdtyView that have seen an increase or downward pressure in activity such as chili prices and other spices.

Mark and Spencer then discussed the data being provided by Mintec that Barchart has available, and how users can best utilize it to view and analyze their global food ingredient prices - including hard-to-get food ingredients such as sweeteners, preservatives, fruits, and vegetables.

They finished up the webinar by walking us through the distribution of Mintec’s data, their platform, and facilitating an interesting Q&A. This recap only scratches the surface, so make sure to watch the full livestream here! To learn more about the data available from Mintec, please visit our website.

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