Almond Market Update - March 17, 2023
“It is Deja vu all over again”. California continued to receive more rain and snow through Tuesday this week. With a small break in between, another storm is headed our way this weekend. The almond orchards have not had much of a break over the last six weeks as the bloom was really under attack from multiple storms that continued to roll through the valley, bringing with them a great deal of doubt as to just what type of crop we will set in the days, weeks, and months ahead. As a result, the current market for almonds has firmed almost over night as growers go silent waiting to see what their orchards will set for this coming season.
Just last week, the Almond Board of California released the February position report. As reported, shipments were 245.7 million pounds, up +23% over last year’s 199 million pounds. Having been above expectations, this has given the industry much more confidence and now raised expectations for more of the same in the weeks ahead. This now puts the industry up +5.5% for the year over last year with 1.517 billion pounds shipped to date.
Exports remained the driving force behind shipments with 188.2 million pounds, up +29.2%. We saw the Middle East up +112%, China/HK up +442% and India up +69% over last February. Domestic pulls 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. This remains a concern considering the USA is still the number one market for almonds.
With many growers remaining in limbo through February and continuing into March (due to the poor bloom weather) new crop sales were 190 million pounds, down versus last February’s 215 million. This grower sentiment will remain, until the progression of the growing season is further developed.
A smaller crop is now clearly in view as crop receipts have come to a trickle, total committed shipments stand at 784.7 million pounds, down -8.5% to last year. Uncommitted inventory is roughly 1.007 billion pounds remain, versus last year’s 1.15 billion pounds, a difference of -12%. Supply and demand are quickly coming into balance.
Upcoming Industry Milestones:
- Bloom: While there may still be some blooms on trees, the chance for pollination is for the most part complete and petal fall has commenced.
- Position Report: April 11, 2023
- Position Report: May 11, 2023
- Subjective Estimate: May 12, 2023 @ 9am
Almond Market Insight - Week 11 Update
Last week’s shipment report clearly shows the demand for almonds worldwide remains strong, firming prices following the report has not caused any hesitation with buyers as consumption grows in the export markets.
The industry has shipped 1.517 billion pounds, ahead of a year ago +5.5%, with a smaller crop this year.
The carry-out may well be in control depending on what the next crop size will be.
With many growers remaining off the market, this swing could be difficult to make up later in the year. If the crop does set well and becomes a “good crop” after all, it may put out the fire.
The domestic market remains the single largest market, behind in shipments -5.5% to last year, and -13% behind the year before, this is problematic especially for the ingredient market.
We don’t know how the orchards will have handled the poor weather during the bloom, but the industry should also not jump to any conclusions or allow emotion to rule the day.