Almond Market Update - September 8, 2023
California’s weather remained favorable for the almond harvest this week as growers are busy shaking trees up and down the state. It appears that everything is ready at once now that the crop is so late. Growers will follow normal protocol for harvesting early varieties first, nonetheless, such as Nonpareil, followed by pollinators. Independence is also harvesting now and may prove to be the best/biggest crop the variety has seen to date.
The market remains somewhat quiet, although there is business being done for nearby shipment periods. As we approach the "August Position Report" (which is the first report for the new crop year) due out next Tuesday, growers continue to assess their crops for yield and quality at the huller/sheller level. Expectations are for shipments to be north of 210 million pounds. It is hard to imagine any consistency being created for future shipments, considering so many growers are off the market, but with the large carry-out of 791.9 million pounds, it has allowed for coverage through the fourth quarter until new crop is harvested and processed.
Reports of higher-than-normal insect damage, as well as poor yields from the hullers/shellers, persist. These are two of the main reasons growers continue to hesitate to offer new crop, especially the high-quality Nonpareil. As harvest continues, this sentiment normally changes. Now that harvest has finally kicked into high gear, we will have more data flowing soon from all regions, giving a clearer picture up and down the state.
Upcoming Industry Milestones:
- Growing Period: Harvest is in full swing, and processors have started to receive their first loads from the hullers/shellers now.
- Position Report: September 12, 2023
Almond Market Insights - Week 36 Update:
While many growers stay off the market due to the delayed harvest, this has given processors the opportunity to continue to sell 2022 crop for nearby shipments.
Growers are content to wait and do not feel pressure to sell due to the uncertainty about the 2023 crop, the market is seeing higher prices due to this supply and quality uncertainty.
For those needing to satisfy nearby shipping windows, market levels are still extremely advantageous, even at slightly higher levels.
Buyers are also content to wait, as the uncertainty of demand plays a role in their decision making process. Most transactions that are occurring are of the hand-to-mouth variety.
The market continues to be lightly traded, and while levels may have firmed in the last two weeks due to a lack of grower support, it could be short-lived if all growers return to the market all at once wanting to move growing inventory.
The lack of offers may also lead to an inconsistency in shipments in future months, especially during the upcoming holiday season. If the industry falls behind as it did last year, it may be hard to regain a positive position. El Nino points to a calmer winter this year as well, which could lead to ideal bloom weather in February once again in California.