Our November weather in California continues to be encouraging. We have had a few more rain showers this week, as well as throughout some of the growing regions of the state. While there have not been any large storms like we saw in October, we are grateful for any precipitation we can get. By no means is the drought over with, as the electronic road signs on the freeway continue to flash “Extreme Drought, Please Conserve”.
The October shipment report was released Thursday morning by the Almond Board of California - Almond Board of California - October 2021 Shipment Report. Shipments for the month were a disappointing 217 million pounds, this is off by -30% from last October, which was an all time record shipment for the industry. What a difference a year makes. This is mostly contributed to the port issues that continue to plague our industry. Along with lower commitment levels from suppliers and farmers expecting to be hurt by drought this upcoming year .
All major export markets were off as described previously; export shipments for the month were 151.9 million pounds off -35.6% versus last years record of 235.9 million pounds. Export sits at -18.6% in shipments versus this time a year ago. With no fix in sight for the ports, shipping is expected to remain a concern for the foreseeable future. It is obvious now that there is no quick solution that will greatly improve the situation any time soon.
Domestic shipments are also down but being able to avoid ports has helped these numbers. Shipments for October were 65 million pounds -11.6% versus last year at 73.76 million pounds. Having said that, this was the third largest shipment month for an October in history, so not all is lost. Domestic shipments for YOY sit at -3.64% to date. Shipments suggest perhaps that some buyers are still working through old inventory. Regardless this was the lone bright spot in a weak report.
Overall now, the industry sits -14.6 % behind in shipments compared to last year with 652 million pounds now shipped, while last year we had shipped 763.7 million pounds by this time.
Next Shipment Report: December 14, 2021
Week 46 Update
With a smaller crop, it was expected to ship less. Crop receipts have now slowed down and are behind by over 15 million pounds already.
Packers continue to report production being at full capacity if not beyond it. There is no reason to think this will not continue. Almonds are ready to be sent to consumers once we can ship them reliably.
Pricing levels remain very much in favor of the buyer, as the buying opportunity continues. Many forget about our drought and what this will mean to next years crop, a larger carry-in may become a necessity.
Not many were expecting the shipment report to be this low and may now reflect a serious hole for the industry to crawl out of.
Total commitments are woefully behind and are -27.6% of last year’s commitments, 748 million pounds versus a year ago at 1.033 billion pounds.
Furthermore, uncommitted inventories continue to grow now at 966.4 million pounds +125% ahead of last years 428 million pounds.
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