We have reached week 50 of a most incredible year, one we will always remember but wish we could forget. Unfortunately, it is not over yet! I do hope we can find some peace in the closing weeks and the holiday spirit will rise in all of us.
The weather in California has continued to be unseasonably dry and warm. We had temperatures in the valley as high as 70 degrees, about 15 degrees above normal for this time of the year. We do show a 50% chance of rain coming this weekend. We really need it, November was one of the driest on record and December has shown us nothing thus far.
Almond demand remains very strong. We have seen the majority of markets come back sooner than expected; whether it be India, the Middle East, or the EU - the markets are all active. As a result, prices have continued to firm with many sellers holding off the market as January production is now full and they are willing to wait for further strengthening to continue, preferring not to sell into a rising market.
The November position report is due out next Tuesday the 15th of December from the Almond Board of California. This is expected to be another strong report. While not as large as October, it is expected to be a record for the month of November! The strongest November historically was two years ago with 237.63 million pounds shipped.
Week 50 Update:
You may recall we shipped almost 310 million pounds in October, a record month for the industry. This followed three months of record shipments previously.
Consumption is driving this trend as we can see the demand coming back quickly from India and Europe.
With the November shipment report coming out on December 15th, this may mark 5 months in a row of record shipments dating back to July, if the November projections are met.
The shipping lanes are everyone's worst enemy right now as ports are backed up and week after week shipments continue to get rolled back. This is leading to missed opportunities that will be difficult, if not impossible, to make up.
Yes it has been a great fourth quarter for the industry, but prices are now firming and the slow period is coming. The almond industry must not get complacent or relax for a moment to meet the sales goals to avoid a carry-over no one wants.
COVID-19 is reaching one of its highest infection rates since it started with more shut downs on the way. Please stay safe out there and do not let your guard down. Stay masked up regardless of what you may believe, better safe than sorry!
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