On April 25th NASS released the Almond Acreage Report for 2017. California’s total almond acreage is estimated at 1,330,000 acres, which is up 7% from last year’s estimate of 1,240,000.
Of the total acreage for 2017 1,000,000 acres were bearing. Preliminary bearing acres are estimated at 1,070,000 for 2018.
The acreage number helps clarify some discussions regarding 2018 crop potential. Based on previous crop years and using both NASS and Land IQ data we see a range of crop possibilities. Most industry members agree that there was some damage during bloom, but it is still too early to know the extent of the damage. For simplicity we have used rough numbers of 5 and 10 percent damage. Here is a breakdown of potential crop outcomes using both NASS and Land IQ acreage and yield per acre data.
Estimated Crop: 2,466,399,265
Estimated Crop 5% Loss: 2,343,079,302
Estimated Crop 10% Loss: 2,219,759,339
Estimated Crop: 2,367,784,232
Estimated Crop 5% damage: 2,249,395,020
Estimated Crop 10% damage: 2,131,005,809
NASS bearing acres 1,070,000
NASS avg. Yield/Acre (2010-2017) 2,305
Land IQ bearing acres (Estimate) 1,111,813
Land IQ avg. Yield/Acre (2010-2017) 2,130
Leading up today’s report the market gained some ground back after losing some steam about a week ago. California and Carmel Type varieties have seen steady demand with limited offers from California. Prices on these varieties have reached $2.80-$2.90 per pound for SSR material, and for Supreme $2.95-$3.10 per pound. Nonpareil is still moving forward with prices nearly flat to last week, and some could argue slightly down on pricing for supreme grade.
The remaining balance of the crop year will be nip and tuck on several items, as we could potentially see a carry out of less than 325 million pounds. Prior to this year the carry out percentage has been around 15.5% starting in 2010, which we could potentially see a 12.6% carry out this season.
The market will most likely continue to see limited offers on California and Carmel Type items, and prices should remain strong as we move through the summer months.
To clarify our view on the report, we believe that taking into account the TNT report it was expected we could potentially have a crop in the region of 2.51 billion lbs, this view was based on there expectation of a higher than usual yield. If we take into account the average yield over the past 5 years it would actually give a crop of 2.35 billion lbs. Therefore expectation of the crop has to lie somewhere in between these 2 figures.