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Market Report: January 2019

The primary focus for the next few days in UK and probably EU is the Brexit deal acceptance or not. In the US they are concentrating on re opening government since it closed over the Mexican border wall funding dispute. Generally stock markets have reacted recently to concern over a global slowdown in 2019, fueled without doubt by continuing generally weak/poor Chinese performance figures …

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Market Report: December 2018

The Strength of the US dollar, despite Trump’s best efforts dominates the currency markets at present. The Fed is determined to see rates rise, and this underpins the dollar. Euro & Sterling follow the Brexit rollercoaster of speculation and rumour. Elsewhere, trade wars, skirmishes between Russia & Ukraine, EU recession and possible US tariffs on EU car imports whilst Trump warns the Brexit agreement restricts a UK/US trade deal all build in uncertainty, and of course the US dollar is the winner …

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10th Anniversary Milestone

Unicorn Ingredients has achieved a lot in its first decade, becoming a £30m turnover company operating in 35 countries around the world. And the future promises more of the same. Ten years ago, Frank Horan and Nikki Divers had a vision of the way an ingredients wholesaler should be run. Of setting up a hands-on company which always put the customer first. Both had been working with seeds and pulses for 20 years. They knew the industry inside out, they were passionate about what they did. The timing was as right as it ever would be. So, the two started to look for suitable premises, opening the Unicorn Ingredients office in Epsom, Surrey in 2008. They have not looked back since.

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The UK countryside

People Power

A happy workplace is a productive workplace and Unicorn Ingredients’ head office in Epsom, Surrey is both those things. Unicorn Ingredients is not a company which just pays lip service to good employee relations. The compan has seen so little staff turnover in its first ten years that the joint founders, Nicola Divers and Frank Horan, can only think of a handful of people who have left. Most have stayed for the whole ten years. The whole ethos of the company is geared towards making it the sort of business that everyone enjoys working in, and that customers enjoy working with.

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Map of Eastern Europe

Focus on: Eastern Europe

Unicorn Ingredients has had a strong relationship with Eastern Europe since the company’s conception 10 years ago. The region is a primary source to a few of its lead products, including brown and golden linseed, sunflower and millet, to name a few. Primarily, the countries sourced from are Ukraine, Poland and Bulgaria, as they offer a reliable and good quality supply base with a strong focus on continually improving consistency. The region is important to Unicorn Ingredients for a variety of reasons, one of these being that it provides the company with a strong non-GMO supply chain, as well as a highly competitive supply base.

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Focus on: Linseed

Linseed is the seed from the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum), a member of the Linaceae family. The thin yellow or brown seed is one of the oldest cultivated crops and originates from the Mediterranean and Western Asia. The seeds are mainly grown in regions with lower winter temperatures and processed for their nutritional value and high content of fibre and oil. Today Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Poland and Argentina are some of the largest global producers of linseed.

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Market Report: November 2018

Who knows! Trade sanctions/war (China-USA), midterm elections, Non-acceptance of EU country (Italy v Brussels) budgets, no Brexit agreement, possible leadership challenges, declining stock markets, downgrading of EU credit ratings to one level above a junk bond! Plus, the threat of UK/EU recession. All lead to global uncertainty and volatility. For sure the US dollar is fairing the best, but this softens some increases at export for some commodities and firms’ prices on import for others. Of course, if Brexit gets sorted, the sun comes out and Sterling could very well rebound dramatically against both Euro and US dollar …

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Market Report: October 2018

Currently, US trade negotiations, whether it is the imposition of tariffs on seeds from China or a re-writing of the Mexican-USA-Canadian trade agreement, impact on global currency markets. If this was not enough, the continued impasse in Brexit negotiations, and political and financial instability in Italy, keep the markets uncertain of direction …

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Market Report: September 2018

The pound is in deep shadow due to the lack of progress on Brexit, and the increasing likelihood of a hard Brexit. Meanwhile the US dollar appreciates due to a further potential escalation in the trade wars with China, and the suggestion that the USA may withdraw from the WTO and Canada does not need to be in the NAFTA. With a potential leadership challenge possible, and certainly strong criticism due at the Conservative party conference at the end of this month, there is potential for Sterling to weaken further…

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Poppy field

Focus on: Poppy

The poppy seed is an oilseed obtained from the pods of the poppy plant (Papaver somniferum). The pods contain a large amount of white, grey or bluish seeds. Poppy seeds have been cultivated for over 3,000 years and grow best at cool temperatures between 10 to 15 degrees centigrade. Today, poppy seeds are produced mainly in Central European and Asian countries …

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