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Almond Market Update - September 25, 2020

We are finally starting to see some blue skies here in California as the weather changes to fall-like conditions.  Higher dew points in the mornings are helping to slow the fires and clear the sky.   There was some rain in the southern part of the state over the weekend also helping to subdue the fires.  While there is still a haze in the sky it is nothing like it was just a few days ago.  We remain appreciative of what we have.

The market has seen more grower support this week as prices have now inched up to more acceptable levels. As a result, prices have now leveled off and there is participation from both buyers and sellers.  We suspect the market will remain stable at these levels for the next few weeks in anticipation of the September shipment report due out from the Almond Board on October 9, 2020.

The outlook for the September shipments are strong.   Last year the industry shipped 196 million pounds in September.  Four years ago marked the record shipment for September with 201.5 million pounds.  Expect to see this record shattered as demand has been very strong as more and more export markets need to be filled following the closures from the pandemic. 

Harvest continues and the issues with smaller kernel sizes remain.  With Nonpareil we are continuing to see sizes off one step down versus a year ago.  At this point, it is clear this will not improve and is something the industry must navigate through this year.

 

Week 39 Update:

Bullish Trends:

  1. Demand has continued to grow this week as buyers realize the current levels still represent a great buying opportunity.  This window may be short depending on the next shipping report.
  2. Interest remains solid throughout all the export markets as well.  Consumption remains strong as markets that were closed demand their pipelines to be filled with no local stocks available.
  3. Innovation for new almond products has never been stronger.  The number of new products introduced globally featuring almonds rose 13% to 12,206 in 2019 according to Innova Market Insights.   It was noted that it is particularly strong in the dairy alternative segments such as almond milk and dairy free yogurts, creamers, and ice cream.

Bearish Trends:

  1. It has taken extraordinary market levels to get the almond industry to where it is today.  With more than a third of the crop committed, the question remains how much real demand remains and at what price levels will it take to continue?
  2. Pressure to keep selling and shipping the new crop will hold down price levels throughout the crop year. 
  3. What guarantee is there that all the markets can remain open and to what extent will market recovery be able to maintain this pace?  

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