Almond Market Update - April 14, 2023
As the growing season has now kicked in full, there was a quick moving storm that came through last Friday and it has remained dry ever since. We enjoyed a couple of days of warm weather as well over the weekend, but temperatures have now dropped to the low 40’s in the morning hours followed by high 60’s during the day. The 10 day forecast looks to be more of the same with a few days of 70’s sprinkled in there.
The Almond Board of California released the March shipment report this week. The industry shipped 281 million pounds in March, which was the largest single shipment month since October of 2020. It is also the third month in a row of record shipments. This exceeded industry expectations and goes a long way in bringing the 2023 carryout more in line to what is necessary for the industry.
Export shipments were again the star here. With 214.6 million pounds exported (strong shipments to ME and China), this represents a +24% increase over last year and brings total exports +12.4% ahead of a year ago totaling 1.311 billion pounds shipped. On the other side of the coin, domestic sales remain below expectations with 487 million pounds shipped year to date and -5.75% behind a year ago. The industry now stands at 1.798 billion pounds shipped YTD and +6.85% ahead of this same time last year.
Crop receipts increased by almost 18 million pounds in March, which is just about double that of last March’s receipts. Nevertheless, with four months remaining, the industry is on track to reach approximately 2.558 billion pounds for the 2022/2023 crop year. It does not look like this will be a bounce back year for the crop, however. The 2020/2021 crop was a 3.1 billion pound harvest, followed by the 2021/2022 crop at 2.92 billion pounds, and this current crop 2022/2023 appears to be topping out at around 2.55 billion pounds.
Upcoming Industry Milestones:
- Growing Period: Weather remains unseasonably cold averaging about 10 degrees lower for this time of the year. Warmer weather is forecasted in the weeks ahead.
- Acreage Report: April 27, 2023
- Position Report: May 11, 2023
- Subjective Estimate: May 12, 2023 @ 9am
- Position Report: June 9, 2023
Almond Market Insights - Week 15 Update
With crop receipts down -12.4% over last year, and shipments up +6.85, supply may be in a much better balance to demand. This also brings a carry-out of 600 million pounds closer into play.
Uncommitted inventory is also below last year’s remaining supply by -5.9%, lending more support to the bullish outlook.
2023/2024 crop outlook continues to trend downwards, with most industry experts now feeling the new crop will be smaller than current crop. Combining a smaller new crop with a lower carry-out will lead to a smaller overall supply in the coming year,
New crop sales for March declined to 144 million pounds versus last year’s 220 million pounds. With so much of the historic shipments being done at record market levels which are unsustainable, what will happen to demand as California increases price levels?
Domestic sales remain depressed falling behind in March to -5.75%. As this is the largest single market for the industry, it remains a serious concern.
Four months do remain, can export sales continue to deliver like this, or will it slow down as stocks fill the warehouses?