March weather has been as close to ideal for growing as one could expect. While we did have a hail storm here and a few days of rain there, it has been relatively event free. The extended forecast continues to indicate clear sailing as we move into higher than normal temperatures in the days ahead. The trees are full with leaves now and look especially healthy. It is too early to speak of the outlook, other than to mention the good weather we have had during bloom and the strong start to the growing season. Only time will tell now.
The industry remains mixed this week as buyers and sellers continue to gauge position and move current stocks. With the heavy sold position and production running at full capacity, no one is quick to lower prices when processing lines are full for the next two months. Domestically there is little stock available for spot orders, while export markets are moving on-hand inventories and new stocks are just starting to arrive (which should have been there a month ago if not for the delays experienced in the ports). Oh, and those delays are still occurring as ports are backlogged!
What is most interesting and something we have mentioned in previous weeks are the changing dynamics between Nonpareil and the other pollinizer varieties. As the industry rightfully sold Nonpareil early at a discount, prices have started to firm now as the supply is getting tighter. On the other hand we are seeing the pollinizers remain flat. The spread now between the two is growing wider, something we have not seen in the last two years. In fact, last year it was quite the opposite.
With the next shipment report due out on April 9, 2021, there is plenty of time to take advantage of an excellent buying opportunity.
Week 12 Update:
Speaking of which, March shipments are destined to be another record month versus this time last year. Shipments will be expected to look similar to February’s report.
Pricing remained flat over the week on pollinizers while Nonpareil increased on larger sizes, especially the 25/27. This should be a good signal to buyers.
Retail sales remain very strong in the snacking aisle and we see new product roll-outs in the non-dairy sections as well as plant-based segments throughout the entire store.
With continued shipment issues at the ports, the supply is getting backlogged and missed consumption cannot be made up. The issue is as strong today as it was three months ago.
With a large carry-over converging with another potentially large harvest in just a few short months, the industry will be under continued selling pressure.
As we speak, there are more market closures due to COVID-19, it is something that we hate to even discuss, but remains a factor and may lead to continued market disruption.
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