Almond Market Update - March 10, 2023
California will be experiencing yet another Atmospheric River this week. The extended forecast shows rain in the valley and snow in the Sierras lasting over the next 6 days. Flood warnings have been issued throughout the state. As a reminder, this is now the tail end of the Almond Bloom. We have continued to experience some of the worst weather memorable with such a long duration throughout the bloom period. No one can really say what effect this will have on the 2023 crop at this time. As stated last week, we have had poor weather in previous years and gone on to have record crops, only time will tell. However, we can't sell short, this winter has been unprecedented in comparison!
The Almond Board of California released the February position report yesterday, March 9, 2023. Shipments were above expectations with 245.7 million pounds, up +23% over last year’s 199 million pounds. It's also the strongest shipment month of the crop year thus far and the strongest February for any year ever. This now puts the industry up +5.5% for the year, plus over last year with 1.517 billion pounds shipped to date.
Exports were the driving force behind shipments with 188.2 million pounds, up +29.2%. It was a global effort with the Middle East up +112%, China/HK up +442% and India up +69% over last February. Domestic shipments were also solid with 57.5 million pounds shipped for the month, up +7.6% over last year’s 53.4 million pounds, but remain down -5.5% year to date.
With many growers off the market during February (due to the poor bloom weather), new crop sales were still 190 million pounds, but down versus last February’s 215 million. This same grower sentiment remains, as does the weather, winter is holding on.
Total committed shipments are 784.7 million pounds, down -8.5% to last year at this time, but so are uncommitted inventory. Roughly 1.007 billion pounds remain, versus last year’s 1.15 billion pounds remained, a difference of -12%. Which that is to be expected with a smaller crop.
Upcoming Industry Milestones:
- Bloom: All but finished, poor weather conditions for the majority of the bloom.
- Position Report: April 11, 2023
- Position Report: May 11, 2023
- Subjective Estimate: May 12, 2023 @ 9am
Almond Market Insight - Week 10 Update
With such a strong shipment report, and crop receipts all but coming to an end, supply may be coming closer into balance with demand as made evident in firming prices.
The industry has now shipped 1.517 billion pounds, ahead of a year ago +5.5%, the momentum continues to build.
More of a carry-out could be a necessity if the 2023 crop were to turn out smaller than this year’s.
While domestic shipments were a positive, a closer look at new business added for domestic sales in February may indicate a severe drop in future shipments.
The domestic market is still the single largest market and remains behind in shipments, -5.5% to last year and -13% behind the year before.
With more growers off the market than on it, this may be enough to tip the scales back in the wrong direction. With 1.36 million bearing acres of trees this year, mother nature will find a way, she always does!