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Almond Market Update - September 18, 2020

The wildfires continue to rage out of control in many areas of California along with Oregon and Washington.  Our prayers go to all the families affected by the fires and the souls that have been lost.  Special thanks to the brave women and men firefighters and support crews that are fighting to protect us.  With the amount of smoke and particulates in the air we have actually seen temperatures fall several degrees, which has slowed down the natural drying process that occurs after shaking the trees while the almonds lay on the ground. The huller shellers are reporting a higher moisture than would be desired, resulting in a decreased in-shell conversion rate.   

Last Friday we shared the release of the shipping report from the Almond Board for August shipments.  With 193 million pounds shipped for the first month of the new crop year, this puts the market 30.7% ahead of last year at this time. 

The industry is well on it’s way with commitments at 1.06 billion pounds today, representing over a third of the crop already committed before we have finished with harvest.  This has further added pressure on the market resulting in increased price levels.  We have seen the market firm over the weekend and into this week by as much as $0.10 to $0.20 per pound depending on variety and size.

Harvest continues with the other varieties now.  With Nonpareil we are still experiencing smaller kernels, the average sizes thus far being between 27/30 and 30/32.  Many customers are accepting these early results and shifting their demand to 27/30 at least for the time being, filling immediate needs.  In the meantime, premiums for a 23/25 have risen by as much as $0.35/lbs. from just a few short weeks ago.

With a lack of offers from growers due to levels below cost of production, we have seen steady price gains as the market searches for trading partners.  

 

Week 38 Update:

Bullish Trends:

  1. Despite all the headlines, the almond market shows its strength and resiliency. 
  2. India is up 105% over this time last year, the Middle East up 35%, Turkey up 52%, and even China we find up 50%.  The EU is also up 30% ahead of last year at this time.  Expect to see the domestic market start to catch its wind in the near future.
  3. With the weaker USD and price levels still well below a year ago, export markets will continue to take advantage of the demand for the beloved almond.  They said we couldn’t sell a billion pounds, then they said we couldn’t sell two billion pounds, now they are saying we can’t sell three billion pounds...we look to prove them wrong once again.

Bearish Trends:

  1. The almond industry will need to continue this sales and consumption trend all through the crop year.  With over 30% of the crop committed, the argument can be made that many have already booked their needs, so how much demand will be left?
  2. Pressure to keep selling and shipping the new crop will keep a lid on price levels. 
  3. With a potential 3.0 billion pound crop coming the 20% growth in supply in a single season may be too much, even for the almond industry.

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