With just 550,000 lbs. received this month, year-to-date receipts stand at 2.533 billion lbs.
Given that USDA receipts stand at 2.543 billion lbs., we would estimate the final crop number to settle down around 2.545 billion lbs.
With California handlers shipping 181 million lbs. in April, this was the 5th consecutive month of record shipments. Year-to-date shipments now stand at a record 1.863 billion lbs., which is 5.5% higher than last season.
The growth in shipments were primarily in the domestic market, which recorded a 15% growth over last April. With 77 million lbs. shipped in April, year-to-date domestic shipments stand at a record 590 million lbs. which represents a growth of 6.39% YoY. In the month of March, the 31% growth in domestic shipments was attributed to pantry stocking but the fact that we continue to see double digit growth in April is an indicator of the strength of the domestic market. While retailers are finding it difficult to project future demand due to uncertainty surrounding consumer behavior in a post COVID-19 world, we are still likely to see the domestic industry continue to grow between 5 - 6%
With lockdowns and port closures across the globe, exports in April were 103 million lbs. – down 5.35% from the 109 million lbs. last April. The bulk of the decline in exports was on account of the severe lockdown in India, which resulted in shipments declining 52%, from 13.69 million last April to 6.5 million lbs. this April. This could be a blessing in disguise as it means pipelines in India will need to be quickly replenished once the market reopens and sellers would not necessarily be at the mercy of Indian buyers.
Shipments into Western Europe were 53 million lbs. (up 7%) with Germany, Netherlands, UK and France all contributing to the increase. Over the last few weeks we have seen increased buying activity from European buyers who were incentivized by lower price levels, and expect to see continued growth from this region.
See below for growth across key export regions: