Chart of the week: vanilla is more valuable than silver

Vanilla is one of the world’s most popular flavours, but a dear one. As this chart shows, a supply squeeze over the past few years has propelled prices to record highs, even overtaking silver.

910-vanilla-634

Vanilla is one of the world's most popular flavours, but a dear one: a supply squeeze over the past few years has propelled prices to record highs. Five years ago, the price of 1kg of vanilla was $20. In 2018, it briefly became more expensive than silver, reaching a peak of $600 a kilo, before falling back. Most of the world's natural vanilla comes from Madagascar, so events on the island affect the global industry.

In March 2017, Cyclone Enawo struck the island and destroyed much of the year's vanilla pod crop. Two of the largest vanilla-producing regions were affected. Because it takes three to four years for a new plant to bear vanilla pods, farmers have been struggling to meet demand ever since. No wonder prices have risen so sharply.

Recommended

Commodities look cheap
Commodities

Commodities look cheap

Gold may be on a bull run, but industrial commodities, including copper, zinc and aluminium, remain cheap.
17 Jan 2020
Don’t panic about Iran – but don’t sell your gold either
Gold

Don’t panic about Iran – but don’t sell your gold either

Markets have reacted calmly to the tension between the US and Iran. But don’t get too complacent. It’s still a good idea to hold on to some gold as in…
9 Jan 2020
Here’s how gold could rise above $7,000 an ounce
Commodities

Here’s how gold could rise above $7,000 an ounce

That the gold price could hit $7,000 an ounce is a logical and plausible possibility, says Charlie Morris. Here, he explains how it could get there.
30 Dec 2019
Gold is in a bull market – and it could have much further to go
Commodities

Gold is in a bull market – and it could have much further to go

Many investors forget that gold is still the best-performing asset of this century, says Charlie Morris. It could also have much further to go.
27 Dec 2019

Most Popular

Why commodities could be the best investment for 2021
Commodities

Why commodities could be the best investment for 2021

There’s plenty for investors to worry about right now. But things will inevitably recover. And the sector most likely to do best when they do, says Jo…
22 Oct 2020
Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts
Bank accounts

Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts

Negative interest rates are likely to mean the introduction of fees for current accounts and other banking products. But that might make the UK bankin…
19 Oct 2020
Buying bitcoin could be the best way to play the remote working boom
Bitcoin

Buying bitcoin could be the best way to play the remote working boom

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the move to home working, flexible employment practices and the rise of the “digital nomad”. One of the best …
21 Oct 2020