Almond Market Update - October 6, 2023
There was additional rainfall in some areas of the growing region last Saturday. This has further slowed down the harvest and complicated things for some growers, especially in areas where it rained particularly hard, beyond what was anticipated. Many areas are just now starting to shake the late varieties that remained on the trees here in the Central Valley. Fortunately, we are experiencing warmer weather this week, with highs expected in the mid-90s throughout the weekend. The crop continues to come in very slowly as growers wait for moisture levels to reach the maximum levels ideal for harvesting and sending to the hullers/shellers. With the next shipment report due out late next week, it is anticipated that crop receipts will remain significantly behind schedule, serving as a reminder that the crop is exceptionally late this year and will continue to be so.
In addition to the late crop, there are continued signals every day that orchard yields may indicate a smaller crop than the estimated 2.6 billion pounds. Concerns about insect damage remain high as well. These are just two of several reasons why growers are hesitant to sell anything they do not yet have. A few more weeks of crop receipts and processing will begin to provide more insight into quality and yield as the industry moves through more and more regions.
September shipments are expected to exceed those of August, which were in line with industry projections at 212 million pounds. Anything north of 220 million pounds will keep the industry on track and bring year-to-date shipments to a positive number ahead of last year.
Upcoming Industry Milestones:
- Growing Period: Harvest remains in full swing, with the pollinators being the last to be harvested. It will be a rush to get them in before anymore rainfall or cooler weather persists.
- Position Report: October 12, 2023
Almond Market Insights - Week 40 Update:
With a lack of offers out there pricing has ticked up over the last two weeks. Possible concerns over perhaps a smaller crop and quality issues brought on by insect damage are a concern to growers.
A later crop than we have seen in many years has created pent-up demand to cover the first quarter of 2024. This has also contributed to firmer pricing from two weeks ago.
However, pricing remains very attractive for buyers, and the increased firmness only lends more credence to purchasing through the first quarter of 2024, ensuring available stock when needed.
Demand continues to be the underlying factor and unknown for the months ahead. While the late crop this year provides the industry with an opportunity to work through remaining stocks from the 2022 crop, overall demand appears to be diminishing in some of the larger markets.
Market firmness is primarily driven by a lack of offers. California will need to resume selling, and when suppliers enter the market simultaneously, the rush to fill production lines may lead to market weakening.
September shipments, along with new commitments, will be crucial in determining how the industry closes out the fourth quarter as we head into another potentially-wet February bloom season.