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Almond Market Update - April 1, 2022

The Monday rainstorm that rolled through the growing regions, sprawling from North to South, produced up to half-an-inch of rain. With hail reported in some areas, we did see a decent amount of wind, which helped to dry the leaves, reducing the chance of rust and other possible damage. By this weekend, however, we’ll begin to see temperatures rise, and possibly reach a predicted 90 degrees by the end of next week. The adage of “April showers bring May flowers” does not apply to California weather.  

Recapping our snowpack for this year, we started in January with 168% to normal, and it has fallen ever since. Currently, the Sierra snowpack is at 39%. By comparison to this point last year, we were at 62% to normal. This represents the lowest snowpack level in 70 years. The drought is the real deal!

With these drastic climate issues in mind, it’s easy to understand the hesitancy amongst growers to lower pricing any further than they already have, despite any economic fundamentals. In fact, current prices do not consider the increasing cost to grow; fertilizers, nutrients, pest controls, and fuel costs are rising at unprecedented rates.

We have communicated recently that specific sizes and varieties (despite a 2.92-billion-pound crop) are all but dried up. Due to drought conditions last year, we have seen the nut sizes trending down the last two years. What is left of this crop in volume are smaller pollinizers, such as 30/32 or smaller. That is not to say there are no other larger sizes out there in Carmel type and Independence varieties, but if you are looking for them between now and August, now is the time to book them.

Upcoming Milestones:

  • Shipment Report: April 12, 2022
  • NASS Acreage Report: April 21, 2022
  • Subjective Estimate: May 11, 2022
  • Objective Estimate: July 6, 2022

Week 14 Update

Bullish Trends:

  • The industry is well sold on Nonpareil (which represents 40% of the crop). Sizes 27/30, or larger, are difficult to find and prices continue to remain firm on inventory.
  • With difficulties emerging in the Australia market with a wet crop, the inshell market in California has new life the demand is high, further firming the market.
  • Export shipments improved this month. While not to the extent the industry would prefer, it is at least trending in the right direction. If we continue this trajectory, the shipping numbers will improve.
     
  • Bearish Trends:
  • Export shipments and logistics will continue to be top of mind for everyone for the foreseeable future. This will continue to keep supply overshadowing demand.
  • With a carryover approaching 950 million pounds, the industry will have an even greater supply than ever seen before. Limited storage will continue to hamper everyone in the industry.
  • Despite the drought and the freeze in February, crop development appears to be strong thus far this season.

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