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Almond Market Update - October 13, 2022

The almond harvest is quickly coming to a close. Most growers have completed their harvests, except for those impacted by the rain event we experienced three weeks ago. While we are on the subject of rain, the extended forecast shows nothing in our future. October is typically a dry month, despite last year’s two atmospheric rivers that came through. As you may recall, the second of those storms came the last week of December and turned out to be the largest storm of any significance for the entire winter. We continue to pay close attention to what is considered the fourth year of this western drought.

The Almond Board released the September shipment report this week. Crop receipts jumped from 264 million pounds received in August to now 978 million pounds received to date. While still trending behind last year by -8.4%, it is still early in the process, and we can see what a difference a month can make. One would expect to see similar gains to continue through the fourth quarter as the huller/shellers work to move product through their facilities with the intent to shut down by the end of the year. The industry should have better insight into the crop size by the end of November. 

September shipments proved to be a disappointment for the industry as only 188 million pounds were shipped. This is compared to 227 million pounds shipped last September, a difference of -17.2%.  Both domestic shipments and exports where off by double digits. Domestic shipments were 51.72 million pounds, down by 12 million pounds, -19.33% from last year’s 64.12 million pounds. Exports were 136.6 million pounds, down 26.7 million pounds, -16.43% from last year’s 163.52 million pounds.

Key observations show us that most export regions posted negative shipment numbers. New sales for the month of September were 240 million pounds versus 232 million pounds a year ago, representing a +3.5% growth compared to last September. Finally, commitments rest at 666 million pounds (an ominous number indeed) versus the 720 million pounds achieved by last year at this time.

Upcoming Industry Milestones

  • Position Report:November 11, 2022
  • Almond Board of California Annual Conference:December 5 through December 8, 2022
  • Position Report: December 13, 2022

Almond Insight - Week 42

Bullish Trends

  1. New sales in September were 240 million pounds, an increase of +3.5% and over 8 million pounds above a year ago September 2021.

  2. The industry continues to use 2.6 billion pounds as the crop size for the 2022/23 crop year, which is down from the 2.92 billion pounds harvest last season.

  3. Market levels remain at historic lows, giving buyers confidence to book at rates competitive to other tree nuts. This creates a value equation conducive to increasing consumption at retail.

Bearish Trends

  1. September shipments were a significant drop off, putting the industry -4.21% versus a year ago.  With the large carryover, supply may exceed demand for many months to come.

  2. The world economies continue to be disrupted by exchange rates, the cost of energy, and inflation. All these factors may be too much to overcome at this time.

  3. Despite readily available shipping containers, shipping issues have not changed; there is simply just a lack of demand for these containers. Additionally, we may face a US rail strike here in the coming weeks.

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