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Almond Market Update - May 1, 2020

The almond growing season continues on with ideal weather conditions thus far.  We edge closer to the USDA subjective estimate of the 2020 crop scheduled for May 12, 2020, the same day as the Almond Board's position report for April shipments.

In the meantime, the NASS released their bearing acreage estimate of 1.26 million acres, while Land IQ has estimated 1.251 million bearing acres (citing the difference based on 9,000 acres being removed prior to harvest).  A trader has also released a 2020 crop estimate at 2.96 billion pounds.  This is based on an abbreviated method due to the COVID-19 virus not allowing their usual method of traveling through the valley and observing many select orchards first hand.  The week before we saw the estimate from Bountiful Ag, coming in at 2.71 billion pounds. 

Week 18 Update:

Bullish Trends:

  1. April shipments remain strong, shipments of +180 million pounds are expected with the report on May 12th, which would be the fifth month in a row of record shipments.
  2. The recently released crop estimate is potentially the highest estimate we will see for the 2020 crop and with pricing at the lowest we have seen, this may represent the bottom.  As the NASS Subjective Estimate is expected to be lower than the trader's estimate, between now and May 12th could represent an ideal buying opportunity.
  3. Last week the California Nursery report was also released, reflecting 8 of the 10 nursery’s reporting.  The nursery sales report showed a decreasing trend in the number of trees sold and new acres planted. This trend is expected to continue as a result of lower prices and SGMA regulations coming into effect.

Bearish Trends:

  1. Low sentiment remains as there has been disorganization in market levels with limited stability as of yet.
  2. Many markets, such as India and Iran, remain closed and are expected to stay as such until the second half of May. The China market's peak season has come and gone, little can be expected to influence current crop supply.
  3. The disruption throughout the world markets remains a challenge in some areas for the industry and will most likely remain this way through the summer.

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