Almond Market Update - October 20, 2023
Temperatures were back up into the 90’s as a high this week, while dropping down into the 50’s during late night/morning hours. The heat during the daytime is much appreciated, while there is still plenty of almonds in the orchards needing to be harvested. There is rain forecasted for Sunday throughout the valley which will not help our situation. With the rain will also bring cooler weather as we expect low 70’s to follow.
On October 12th, the Almond Board of CA released the "September Position Report" and we saw crop receipts jump from 70 million pounds in August to 625 million now received year-to-date. While still behind the 978 million received at this point last year, the crop continues to be harvested albeit very late. As harvest continues (what looks like will continue into November in some areas), growers and processors will continue to assess the quality and yields from the orchards. While the crop appears to be down from the estimated 2.6 billion pounds, it is pure speculation at this point. Granted, there are some growers that have suffered serious damage and poor yields per acre, but this is spotty from field to field and varies by growing areas.
September shipments were strong, with 217.7 million pounds shipped for the second month of the new crop year. This is an increase of 15.6% over last year and represents the third strongest September historically. As a result, the new crop year is now ahead of last year by +3%. Both export and domestic shipments were up compared to last September. Export shipments reached 154.8 million pounds, up 13.3% from last year’s 136.6 million pounds. Domestic shipments also rebounded, with 62.8 million pounds shipped last month, putting domestic shipments in the positive territory for the first time in over a year, +6% year-to-date. This also represents the third largest September for domestic historically. Expectations are for an even stronger October shipment number as we head into the holiday season.
New sales for September remained robust, with 269.9 million pounds sold, contributed by the strong carry-out. This represents an increase of over 11% compared to last September, when 240 million pounds were sold. This is a positive trend and may lead to stronger shipments in the upcoming months.
Overall commitments have improved slightly from a year ago, with 674 million pounds now on the books compared to 666 million last year at this time. This is primarily driven by export sales, with commitments of 414 million pounds, up 26.4% versus 327.5 million last year, while domestic coverage lagging behind at 260 million pounds, compared last year's levels of 338.4 million pounds, a decrease of 23%.
Upcoming Industry Milestones:
- Harvest Period: Many growers remain at work harvesting the last of the late varieties. Those that have finished harvesting are working on winter sanitation as well as irrigating their orchards due to high temperatures.
- Position Report: November 10, 2023
Almond Market Insights - Week 42 Update:
New sales in September were very strong with ~270 million pounds sold. This should secure strong shipments throughout Q4 of 2023.
These new sales in the last two months will also have contributed significantly to reducing the 800 million pounds of remaining stocks, and helped to bridge the gap between the previous crop and the late arrival of the new crop.
While the market continues to firm post last week’s shipment report, pricing remains attractive for buyers, and the combination of this firmness along with strong shipments instills confidence in the almond market for everyone.
Future demand is still not apparent. While there are few offers for new crop, there has not been the demand expected for it either. With the economic pressures and world instability throughout key markets, much remains in question for Q1 and Q2.
Right now buyers appear to be purchasing hand to mouth and California will have to keep selling or they risk not having the commitments necessary for strong shipment months in 2024.
While crop is likely short there are still almonds to sell in CA especially due to the carry-in of 800 million pounds.