California can finally say that we have our wildfires under control. We have seen the air quality throughout the state show marked improvement over the weekend, and it continued to improve all week. It is a welcome sight after 6 weeks of fires and smoke.
With over 1.2 million acres of almonds, the harvest does not happen overnight. Having said that, deliveries of the later varieties to the huller/shellers continue. This should all but be completed within the next ten days.
The September position report was released last Friday, October 9th. It was everything and more of what the industry had expected and hoped for. With 261 million pounds shipped in September, this puts the industry well ahead of last year by 32%. Export shipments were a significant factor with 197.4 million pounds, up 39%, with domestic up 17% and 63.6 million pounds shipped in September. Overall the sales numbers are stellar and we can look to all the various markets and see positive sales growth.
What does it all translate to when looking further into the future? Strong September shipments were expected and frankly needed with a record crop harvested. Expect to see October shipments even stronger, again much needed. The question now is how will consumption play out with so much stock loaded into the pipeline up front? How soon will replenishment be required and to what level?
Week 42 Update:
The industry is very comfortable now with the sold position and shipments well ahead of pace. Whether it is a 2.9 or 3.0 billion pound crop, it feels like the industry will manage it as it always does.
With continued low market pricing, we are seeing the new levels reach grocery shelves and other classes of trade. This should be supported by growing demand into the fourth quarter of 2020.
Everyday mainstream manufacturers are coming out with plant based versions of cheeses, yogurts and drinks! As almond pricing is low and expected to remain stable due to growing supply, the majority of edible nut NPD is being done with almonds. This type of continued innovation will fuel the demand to meet our supply.
With so much shipped this early, the demand after the fourth quarter will likely decrease.
The industry will need to ship at least 2.75 billion pounds this year. The real work has just begun.
Sad to report some markets are already closing again due to COVID-19, this may become even more pronounced throughout the winter months.
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