Tanzania 2019 crop has been auctioned as expected and average auctions have been at $1,600 - $1,650 USD/MT. The last 20% of the crop is still to be auctioned, which is of lower quality and expected to be discounted accordingly. Overall raw material inventory levels in both India and Vietnam have been low due to good kernel takeoff in 2019. The excess RCN supply buildup of 2018 seems to be used up and with WAF season starting soon, reasonable quantity of RCN is expected to come from March onwards. There might be spike in January - February on RCN prices due to lower availability with reduction as flow increases. Kernel prices have been stable for last 3 months and are expected to remain rangebound with some volatility in the first quarter.
The almond market has been stable for the last 2-3 months and focus is shifting to outlook for 2020 crop. Overall 2019 crop shipments and receipts are expected to be around 245 billion lbs., which might lead to some softening of prices. Most buyers are covered well for Q1 and to some extent Q2, which is resulting in lower liquidity and softness of prices as well.
Pistachio in-shell prices have softened by about 15-20¢/lb. in the last month or so. Current levels are $4.15 - $4.20 USD/lb. for US Extra No 1 inshells and closed mouth are being traded at $3.45 - $3.50 USD/lb. levels. With Chinese New Year demand being largely covered, the rush to cover prompt in-shells is over. However, due to increasing sanctions on Iran, the only other alternate product source, in-shell prices are expected to remain stable. Kernel market remains firm with Domestic US and European buying and is expected to remain firm for next 1-2 months.
The 2019 Chilean crop has been shipped out completely. The 2020 Chilean crop will arrive in April, and volume may not grow due to the near-drought situation. YTD-December California shipments are lower by -2%, but overall supply is down by -4% due to lower crop arrivals. The balance crop in year as of December’s end is lower by 25k tons, which will result in lower shipments (especially of inshells) in balance of the January - August period. The SnD is balanced as of now – however, the escalating conflict in the Middle East and the localized situation with some small packers in California can always move the prices in the short term, though most large handlers are comfortably sold.
Trade continues to have consistent supply and demand with low inventory levels across origins and markets. The 2019-2020 new season crop shipments from Turkey have been 43% higher YOY basis. This season’s overall export could be one of the highest ever. Demand in Europe as well as China continues to be strong, keeping the prices from being stable to firm. Current market prices are $6.60 - $6.80 USD/Kg for natural and $8.60 - $9.00 USD/Kg for blanched kernels.
The macadamia market continues to be firm as both Australian and South African crops come to an end. Inventories at both origins and markets as well as China are also being consumed, especially with coverage from buyers for Chinese New Year festivals. Drought, fire, and adverse weather conditions might impact the 2020 crop output in Australia, leading to further firmness of prices. With new harvest of major origins expected to start from February – March, raw material for processing will be available from April onwards only leading to firm prices with limited supply in first half of 2020. Inshell prices expected to remain firm between $5.50 - $6.60 USD/Kg and might increase further as well.