Tanzania’s 2019 crop auction closed at an estimated 225,000 MT, against expectations of over 250,000 MT. The exports from Vietnam have been record highs for 2019, leading to low raw material and kernel inventories at origins. The expectation on West Africa (major supplier of RCN) as well as Vietnam / Cambodia is of better crop than the previous year and should ensure a good supply for next few months. The IVC government is expected to declare a minimum farmer price higher than last year, which might push prices up to certain extent. With low demand from China and stable supply and demand, prices are expected to be range bound in long term at $3.30 - $3.60 USD/lbs. for W320s with some volatility in the short term.
California Almond Growers are now in the bloom season and we are seeing some of the earliest varieties showing their flowers. Bee hives are all in position and they are ready to start pollinating. The cold nights have slowed the onset down, however, daytime temperatures have been perfect for bee flight and once the flowers have all been revealed they will start doing their job. With a lack of rain thus far this year, farmers are irrigating, when they would have typically counted on rainfall to do it for them. The state is now only at 60% of normal snow pack (a vital resource for 50% of California’s water supply). With over 2.5 billion pounds now received, a carry out of between 400 - 450 million pounds is expected. With expectations of a larger crop for 2020, the almond industry will look to increase marketing for both the current and new crop. One could say this is a buyer’s market.
August to December shipments from the USA have been 19% lesser than the previous year, which correlates with lower supply of 22% for the same period. The prices for Pistachios continues to remain soft as China covered the demand for Lunar New Year. Prices have softened by 2-3% compared to last month, as expected. Current levels are $4.15 - $4.20 USD/lb. for US Extra No 1 inshells and closed mouth being traded at $3.45 - $3.50 USD/lb. levels. The kernel market remains firm with European buying and is expected to remain firm for the next few weeks.
Reduction in shipments from the USA continues and is expected to slow down further in the coming months. The impact of drought conditions on meat yield and overall crop is yet to be ascertained. Overall there has been less activity in the market as major handlers are expected to be well sold. The focus is moving toward Chile’s crop and covering for second half of 2020, which might lead to some firmness in prices as well. Current prices for Walnuts continue to remain stable to bearish with inshell Chandler at $1.38 - $1.43 USD/lb. FAS, which are almost 5 ¢/lb lower than previous month.
For 2019, Turkey exported a record volume of 320,000 MT of kernels, which is the highest ever and trade continues to have good demand. The Turkish Grain Board participated well in the 2019 crop and is expected to have about 80,000 MT of inshells, as some other traders are expected to hold good volumes as well. The consistent supply paired with strong demand is expected to keep prices firm as demand for kernels in Europe continues to be quite good. Current market prices are $6.70 - $6.90 USD/Kg. for natural and $8.80 - $9.20 USD/Kg. for blanched kernels.
The macadamia market continues to remain largely inactive as both Australian and South African crops came to an end. Inventories at both origins and markets are being consumed to meet the existing demand. The focus is moving to next season’s crops with the new harvest of major origins expected to start from February to 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 $6.00 - $6.50 USD/Kg. for Inshells for the South African crop.