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Almond Market Update - February 24, 2023

For the most part, everyone in the country is experiencing some strange type of weather this week. In California, we are having a cold snap that seemingly came out of nowhere after a nice stretch of weather previously. There was even some snow reported in areas where it just doesn’t snow. With almond bloom in mid-stream, it is difficult to say exactly what the effect will be. The bloom has been off to a late start this year and this may most likely extend the bloom (effectively slowing down the progression). Temperatures have been down, (close to freezing in the early morning hours) while daytime weather is barely reaching 50 degrees. On top of that, it has been windy, none of this bodes well for bee flight or pollination of the trees. 

As nonpareil and other popular almond varieties and sizes begin to become in tighter supply, prices continue to firm on these grades. Meanwhile, the pollinators remain at lower levels and the spread has widened once again.  At this point, risk of waiting to purchase (especially high-quality almonds) seems to out-weigh the potential of weakening market levels. The bloom is always in question this time of year, and certainly a case can be made for both points of view on where the market goes from here. However, with over 1.34 million bearing acres, regardless of the weather, California will have a crop to market. Combine that with what we have left of the current crop, there are plenty of almonds to sell.  

The industry shipped 229.6 million pounds in January, up +29.6% over last years 177 million pounds. Combine that with the largest sales month historically with 350 million pounds sold, up +69% over last January, it is all great news. But, let’s make no mistake, the industry had to! It’s a good start, but the work is not done. 

Download and read the January shipment report, here!

Upcoming Industry Milestones:

  • Bloom: Off to a late start, progressing slowly at this time. 
  • Position Report: March 9, 2023
  • Position Report: April 11, 2023 

Almond Market Insight - Week 8 Update

Bullish Trends:

  1. Assuming the bottom of the market was hit, buyers can feel more confident than ever to make purchases. The outlook is for stable pricing to remain through the bloom and into the growing season.

  2. The industry has now shipped 1.27 billion pounds, bringing shipments ahead of last year at this time by +2.6%. 

  3. Crop receipts have slowed down dramatically, indicating we may not reach the 2.6 billion pounds originally estimated by NASS. 

Bearish Trends

  1. Despite the "less than ideal" bloom weather, the average tree only requires 20% of its blooms to be pollinated to be considered a good crop. 

  2. While some farmers are willing to wait out the bloom, early indications have been favorable.   

  3. Immediately following the January shipment report, the market pushed for firmer pricing, despite a thinly traded market. That appears to have receded now on at least some of the varieties namely pollinators.   

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