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Almond Market Update - February 10, 2023

The weather in California has remained relatively nice over the last week, with a few scattered showers here and there. The Sierra’s have received a few dustings of snow as well and it remains cold throughout the Sierras. In the growing region, we are seeing temperatures in the mid-30’s in the morning and highs in the low-to-mid 60’s. All is aligning for good bloom weather, with the above temperatures forecasted the same over the next 10 days. 

The Almond Board of California released the January shipment report Thursday, February 9, 2023. This was a record shipment for any January previously at 229.6 million pounds, up +29.6% over last years 177 million pounds. Logistic issues continue to ease and may soon be a distant memory. Export shipments were certainly the dominant factor with 163 million pounds shipped, a whopping +47.5% increase over last year’s 110.6 million pounds. This was driven by a few key export markets. On the other hand, domestic shipments were flat this month versus last year, but does represent the best month yet for this new crop year:

  • Western Europe - +10% 55.7 million pounds vs 33.9 million year ago.
  • India - +34% 34.8 million pounds versus 22.8 million a year ago.
  • Domestic - 66.5 million pounds versus 66.57 million a year ago.

The industry has now shipped 1.27 billion pounds, +2.6% ahead of last year at this time. With crop receipts slowing down dramatically - having only received 98.5 million pounds for January, this puts crop receipts -12.5% behind a year ago. This makes it look increasingly more challenging to reach the objective estimate of 2.6 billion pounds.

New crop sales were also very impressive with 350 million pounds sold in January, compared to 207.6 million pounds sold last January.

Upcoming Industry Milestones:

  • Bloom: Starting this week in the furthest southern growing region.
  • Position Report: March 9, 2023
  • Position Report: April 11, 2023

Almond Market Insight - Week 6 Update

Bullish Trends:

  1. January shipments were very strong and show the industry continuing to rebound with a solid shipment month ahead of expectations.

  2. On top of a great shipment month, new sales for the month of January are up +69%, 350 million pounds over last January sales of 207 million, bringing commitments even to last year at this time!

  3. With crop receipts slowing down dramatically, it looks like the crop could fall short of the 2.6 billion pound estimate by NASS. Thus, helping to bring supply closer in line with demand every day.

Bearish Trends

  1. “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched”. There is a long way to go in the current crop year and one shipment month does not right the ship.

  2. Beautiful bloom weather, plenty of buds on the trees, and a healthier supply of water than California has seen in many years, spells a 2023 rebound in this year’s crop.    

  3. Consumption of tree nuts are still questionable. How related to current inflation is consumer take away at the grocery shelf? Can the industry really try to force prices up right now?  

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