HB Ingredients Newsletter No 20 October 2009

New Products

Popping Candy Explosive Crispy

Chocolate Coated Popping Candy

Powdered Citric Acid


Apple Pectin


Powdered Soya Lecithin

Invert Sugar

Special Offers

Autumn's Special Offers

"The Doctors"
"The Doctors"

Don't forget to ask"The Chocolate Doctor" or the "Ingredients Doctor" to answer your questions.

Chocolate Courses
Click here to access details of Chocolate Courses that HB Ingredients can recommend.
The Callebaut Chocolate Academy have just published their 2009-2010 prospectus.




Website Changes.

As our product range has increased, we have realised that navigating around our website has become a little complicated, so we are taking steps to overcome this problem.

The major improvements are:

ou can search for products either by category, a collection of products or by brand.

You can produce a "My Favourites" list of products, enabling you to produce and upgrade your own price list.

To create your "My Favourites" list:

Log in using your e-mail address  and password
First log onto our website, using your e-mail address and the password that you chose when you first registered.

Access "My Account"

Then access your account by using the "My Account" button.

My AccountFrom here you can update your "Address Details" and access your "My Favourites" list. To add to your list just use the button
found on the pop up of individual product details.

Individual product details will now appear as a pop-up over the price list, so that when closed this returns you to the price list.

Product Details


Spoonful of Chocolate

Spoonful of Chocolate

Great news about this exciting new product, just in time for winter.

We have negotiated a price reduction from the manufacturer and are now able to supply the 24 piece outer for £18.00 making the individual sticks 75p each.

Lead Article


Price Changes with effect from 1 st January 2010

Below is a complete update as to where the most relevant commodity and currency prices are impacting on key ingredients.

We try to fix a Price List twice a year applicable from January–June and July-December, and our suppliers are generally lined up to do this. One factor that throws this out is currency, where we have to make adjustments to prices, which are maybe fixed Euro prices. Obviously we try to minimise the impact of fluctuations, but when they are extreme we do have no choice but to pass these on.

As regular readers of the Newsletter will be aware, in the past few months the Cocoa Market has been increasing at a fairly alarming rate, against our thought and belief, that prices for Chocolate would ease down for the first half of 2010. As can be seen from the graph etc below, the increases have resulted in the reverse happening and therefore we currently have the view that from 1st January 2010, we will see Plain and Extra Bitter Chocolate increase by 4-5% and due to relatively lower Dairy prices and a better Cocoa Butter ratio, Milk and White Chocolate prices will remain much as now.

The closing of the price gap between Plain, Milk and White is significant, although peculiarly the average consumer has always perceived Extra Bitter and Plain Chocolate as being a more expensive product. (Try this on your friends and family...)

Commodity & Currency Update

Following the summary of the present situation in September, the next step in dismantling the EU Sugar Regime took place from 1st October. This resulted in the EU ‘Reference Price' reducing, which has absolutely no direct impact on the actual commercial prices charged in the market, although we do expect to see sugar prices easing.

One of the peculiarities of the EU Sugar market is that this is fixed in Euros and given that the UK is out of the Euro zone, fortnightly reviews of the relativity of currencies are made which where sterling fluctuate by more than 1% either way of the Euro rate, then sugar prices in the UK move up or down. These changes can be fortnightly and with the recent decline in the value of Sterling we have seen regular increases which negate any immediate easing in prices.

Again the September review of the market proved to be accurate and in the last 4 weeks we have seen Dairy Markets surging dramatically primarily due to:-
 - Season low volumes in EU
 - New Zealand milk powder auction prices have increase 56% over the last 2 auctions
 - Increase in world market prices making EU products competitive again
 - Large surplus volume has been taken into intervention stores
 - Uneconomically low milk prices resulting in "farmer strikes" in France and Belgium
 - Sterling has weakened against euro again over last 5 weeks (see below)

The above factors combined with buyers short term purchasing tactics this year has resulted in a sudden panic over the last 3 weeks to cover requirements for October - December

This has resulted in the following price increases:
 - Bulk Cream has increased by 50% for spot delivery
 - Butter has increased by 50%
 - Wholemilk powder has moved up by over 35%
 - SMP has increased over 20%
 - Spot Milk has increased from 19pence per litre to 29pence per litre

There is a view that this increase may be short term only and should recede early 2010. However, the longer the spike remains, it will force buyers to commit to 2010 requirements to ensure supply.

Cocoa prices climb and climb with the fundamentals really still not supporting the 28 year highs we are experiencing at the moment. There is evidence that bean quality especially from the Ivory Coast is not as good as it should be, but it is still the Speculators that are behind the market highs.

The graph speaks for itself.

Cocoa Graph

Although as the main crop really starts to kick in we should see dips in the market, these are expected to be short lived as Industry has relatively short cover and so the market will close the dips fairly quickly after they appear!

As we said last month, ‘mixed UK, EU and World economic news and forecasts all had a negative impact on sterling and this volatility seems likely to be with us going forward to the end of the year'. Well at least we were right about this, with the £ dropping down to Euro1.075 last week and currently trading just below the 1.10 level.

Currency Graph

Big impact on Euro based Ingredient prices, but again the upside is good for UK manufacturers as we were saying at the beginning of 2009, in that it is ‘protecting' local producers from cheaper imports of finished products. Anyone that has been to the continent in the last few months will know how ‘cheap' the UK is in comparison – whether you are using the Mars bar comparison method or beer, wine, hotel rooms etc!

Also attached is a Sterling/US$ chart, which basically shows the same story – so we hope our customers continue to thrive during the run up to and through Christmas!!

Sterlin/Dollar Graph

Tony Mycock
2 nd October 2009




HB Ingredients
Cocoa House, 22 Bell Lane,Bellbrook Industrial Estate, Uckfield East Sussex. TN22 1QL.
Tel:+44(0)845 88 00 799 Fax:+44(0)845 88 00 833