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Walnut Market and Crop Update – June 2019

Market 

Markets have been relatively quiet since Chile has started to ship in the Spring.  Chile is relatively sold out, much more sold then this time last year.

In California most inventory is also sold out as well.  The market overall seems pretty tight on inventory except for a few items, but the Californian Walnut Board expect most, if not all, inventory to be cleaned up in advance of new crop . Recently traded prices are as follows: Combo HP $2.40, LMP at $2.55, LLP at $2.45, LHP 20 at $2.65-2.70, Chandler LHP 20 at $2.75-2.80, Chandler Halves at $3.15-3.20, FAS CA basis. Most buyers are now focused on new crop offers from California.

The June 2019 shipments versus the June 2018 shipments on an inshell equivalent were up 3.9% with +31,599 tons in 2019 versus 30,379 tons in 2018;

  • Domestic – June 2019 shipments versus 2018 shipments on an inshell equivalent were up +3%
  • Export – June 2019 shipments versus 2018 shipments on an inshell equivalent were up +5%

The Key Market Shipments:  June 2019 versus June 2018;

  • Kernels Europe:86 million pounds vs 4.2 million for an increase of 15.89%
  • Inshell Middle East: 533,000 lbs versus 1.35 million for an decrease of 60.55%
  • Inshell Turkey: 448,452 lbs versus 264,552 for an increase of +69.5%%
  • Shelled Germany: 546,800 vs 1.09 Million for a decrease of (-49.86% )

New Crop

Early reports from California Industry Experts, is that Chandler crop looks relatively good. Tulare coming off a huge crop last year is expected to be down this season. Howards look very inconsistent, some saying same as last year while others say they will be down. Early varieties look to be down this year with many of the older varieties/older orchards being pulled out this year.  Most expect a crop size similar to last year at 680,000 tons with some even stating it could be as high as 710,000 tons.  The estimate will be released in late August.  It does feel that there has been much less business booked early this summer compared to last year, sellers and buyer seem content on waiting…with sales picking up this week.

Pricing

New crop pricing can be described as unorganized. Sellers want as high as 1.20 FAS for Jumbo Large Chandler while buyers want the profitable levels, they briefly had last year at 1.00 FAS. Recent business has been reported at 1.12-1.15 FAS for Chandler and Tulare at 1.09 FAS and Howard at 1.08 FAS. Bids at these levels have had mixed success, bids lowers have had zero success.  While buyers may initially resist Chandler at 1.15 FAS or higher, it may be worth considering that 2 years ago these levels were considered cheap and are lower than the prices which Chile sold most their crop this year.

date:  Jul 12, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Walnut Market and Crop Update – June 2019
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

SAYER DATES CROP 2019 REPORT

Reports from the plamyards across all southern provinces show indications that the upcoming crop of 2019 will not reflect the same as the previous year’s crop, which was a high yield crop year for Sayer Dates growers. These affects have been down to the heavy rainfalls during the insemination period of the Palm trees, meaning some female trees were unable to fertilize properly.

This phenomenon has affected two major Date growing areas and has caused crop reduction in ‘Shadegan’ and ‘Abadan’ regions by 50% to 70%. Despite this, other regions were not affected and were able to produce good standard crop for harvest in September.

Recent developments in crop and reports also show that the Palm trees have lost smaller fruits in the past two months meaning only the larger fruits remain on the palms. On following this, the new crop will provide a larger proportion of Select B & A Dates vs GAQ & FAQ sized Dates.

Given the facts above, an expected 30% reduction on the total crop yield in comparison to last year’s crop. Please see the below chart which provides details of the expected size for the new crop & the proportion of each grade:

Expected New Crop Size

Iran’s economic situation has been stabilized in comparison to the last year and the US$ exchange rate has been stable for the past 10 months as result. The government has been able to provide a better platform for the exchange demands and have recovered the shortcoming of the oil income by replacing oil with other exporting commodities.It is also predictable that government’s minimum guaranteed purchasing price from the farmers will grow to higher than last year, however the exchange rates will keep the prices in competitive levels.

We are witnessing a trend that each year a larger portion of the Dates buyers are converting to purchase high quality Dates by products, specially Date paste. This fact is reducing demand for the whole pitted Dates in general and a better acceptance for the new product which is replacing the whole Dates. This trend is visible in North America, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and Australia (mainly quality oriented Markets looking for natural sweeteners and sugar alternatives).

date:  Jul 10, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on SAYER DATES CROP 2019 REPORT
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

California Almond Forecast Down 3.5 Percent

New information is out, NASS has estimated the 2019 Californian Almond crop at 2.2 billion pounds, bringing the once estimated crop of 2.5 billion pounds down by 12 percent. Effects were felt throughout the industry the moment the estimate was announced, and almost immediately one could stipulate what market reaction would ensue.

The industry had been working off an estimated 2.5 billion pounds with the expectation that the objective estimate would match or slightly exceed the first estimate. The supply and demand equation drastically changed in a matter of one announcement. Now California will attempt to use pricing to manage demand assuming a crop size of 2.2 billion pounds and a historically low carry-out.

Overall, the estimate outlined bearing acres at 1.17 million acres, an average nut set per tree down 17.8 percent, and an overall yield per acre down roughly 10 percent at 1,880 vs. 2,090. If all of this comes to pass, the overall crop for 2019 would be smaller than last season by 3.5 percent.

Despite this only being an estimate, for the time being it is all we can go by. It is expected for the market to firm across all items on current and new crop. Therefore, until more is known about the 2019 Californian crop market will be based on a tight supply.

What to watch for:

1)    The release of the June shipment figures July 11th.

2)    Trade Negotiations

Click on the link below for more information:

Link – 2019 Objective Estimate Report

date:  Jul 04, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on California Almond Forecast Down 3.5 Percent
by:  Sian Koster category:  Latest News Read More

May Almonds shipment report

One more month is in the books and California has now compiled 5 record shipment months out of 10 so far with May setting a record of 178 mm pounds.  Domestic shipments flattened out while export shipments improved drastically compared to last season by roughly 20 mm pounds.  The major export markets that saw impressive increases were China (up 4.1 mm pounds) and India (up 8 mm pounds) with a group effort by Western Europe (up 3.2 mm pounds) and the Middle East (up 1.8 mm).  Total net shipments are now nearly flat to last year with expected shipments for June to once again be above last year’s 156 mm pounds.

In addition to the shipment number for May, California shippers amassed 107 mm pounds of new commitments bringing the sold position to 90 percent of total supply (2.58 bb pounds). The trend of strong sales dating back to January has helped California outpace last year’s sold position by a couple percentage points (last year at this point 87 percent sold), and now leaves California squarely in the driver’s seat for the remaining balance of the 2018 campaign.

With just two months remaining before we turn the page on the 2018 campaign, assuming the industry ships more than what was shipped last year during June (156mm) and July (143mm), which based on current commitments is very likely, we could be looking at a carry-out right around 320 mm pounds plus or minus.  The next closest comparable carry-out would be from the 2012 Crop of 317 mm pounds.  The projected carry-out and a potentially late harvest leaves little breathing room for needs during August through October.

Some of the apprehensiveness of being in a tight transition could be found in the new crop sales of 133 mm pounds compared to 80 mm pounds last May. Keep in mind back in 2017 the new crop sales in May totaled 209 mm pounds. Right now, 2019 new crop sales bring the percent sold around 5 percent based on a projected crop size of 2.50 bb pounds (Subjective Estimate 2.50bb pounds). This is better than what the industry started out with last season with the percent sold being just over 3 percent. In the grand scheme of things going from 3 to 5 percent doesn’t look like much, but when considering the size of the crop moving only a couple percentage points is a fair amount of volume (approx. 75mm to 125mm pounds).

New crop sales have shown a willingness from all sides (buyer-seller-grower) to position themselves ahead of Q4 needs and a good sized 2019 crop.  From a buyer’s perspective positioning on new crop is two-fold.  One is wanting to be a part of the early shipments out of new crop and two prices are much more attractive and balanced in comparison to current crop. On the flip side, shippers and growers are starting at a good average price for new crop and for shippers avoiding the pitfall of last season of slower shipments for August and September leading to a slight decline in prices only betters their chances of staying on top of a record crop size.

Since the report was released prices have strengthened on current crop by about 3 to 5 cents per pound depending on the items, and for new crop prices have increased on a more minimal scale by about 2 to 3 cents per pound.  Now we will have to let the dust settle before we know if current crop can hold these new price levels and if buyers have the need to chase some new crop business in order to secure specific timing requirements.

All this being said the road ahead will most likely not be an easy one.  There are many challenges from a flat economy in Europe, Asian and Middle Eastern unknowns, Strong USD, Trade Wars and Tariffs, Brexit, and US Presidential Elections in 2020.  Even with these challenges the almond industry as a whole has shown that year in and year out all the almonds find a home throughout the world.

date:  Jun 13, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on May Almonds shipment report
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

The California Almond Board March Position Report

The California Almond Board has released the Almond Position Report with shipments of +184.9 million pounds compared to last year 193.9 million pounds for a decrease of 4.6 percent.

EXPORTS              +124 mill lbs      -4.9%

DOMESTIC          +60 mill lbs         -4.1%

For the month of March, India has another strong month with an increase of 3 million pounds, while China had a decrease of 11 million pounds, Korea was up 3 million pounds, UAE finally had a decrease of 3 million pounds after many strong months in a row of shipments.  Spain was down 2 million pounds for the month while Germany dropped by 1 million for the month compared to last year.

YEAR TO DATE SHIPMENTS:  We are now at +1.588  billion pounds compared to last year 1.616 billion pounds for a -1.69 percent.

DOMESTIC account for 31% of all sales

EXPORTS account for 69% of all sales

ASIA accounts for 29% of all sales

EUROPE accounts for 26% of all sales

SUB SAHRAN AFRICA accounts for 10% of all sales

Western Europe               -7%

Middle East                        +2%

North Africa                       +164%

China/HK                            -31%

India                                      +4%

Spain                                     -5%

Germany                             -20%

Turkey                                  -35%

UAE                                       +8%

Saudi Arabia                      +45%

South Korea                       +15%

CROP RECEIPTS: Now at 2.264 billion pounds compared to last year’s 2.256 billion pounds.

MARCH SHIPMENTS and MARKET: The overall Almond market was active in March with new sales  147 million pounds.  Prices on Stds and SSR firmed up in the early part of the month, then stabilized, and during the recent week started to weaken a few cents per pound with Stds at 2.78 and SSR at 2.85 FAS.  Nonpareil kernels sales have slowed as most of the Middle East is well covered for the Ramadan Holiday with NP X 23/25 at 3.10 FAS.  Inshell prices definitely climbed through the most of March and have recent settled to 2.30-2.35 FAS for current crop.    The industry is now at 79.6% sold for the current crop and carry in at this time.

CROP: The new 2019 crop looks better than last year for the majority of the valley.  The Southern part of the valley ( Kern County) has one of their better crops and Fresno also looks good.  As we go up the valley we start to see some inconsistent orchards due to the rain and cool temperatures during the bloom.  Some growers report that their younger trees look good while others will state inconsistent.  Limited new crop sales have taken place thus far as buyer would like better prices and prefer to wait while growers would like strong prices.  One agency has announced their unofficial crop estimate for 2019 at 2.452 billion pounds and we expect another group to announce their unofficial crop estimate this week as well.

date:  Apr 11, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on The California Almond Board March Position Report
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Apricot Update 04/04/2019

2018 Crop · Exports in March were 8,386 tons, compared to 7,807 tons last year, an increase of 7.5% · 
Exports year to date are 75,276 tons compared to 74,910 tons last year, an increase of 0.5% · Average export price for whole apricots for March was $2675/ton FOB compared to $2924 for 2017 crop. Strong exports in line with expectations are being fuelled by the lowest prices since 2012. Year end exports are likely to end close to 2017 crop total exports which were 95,000 tons. With a further 7,000 to 10,000 tons of domestic consumption, carryover will once again be minimal.
The lira has been volatile over the past few weeks ahead of the local elections on the 31st of March.  The future direction of the currency is unclear, though there are no more elections for over 4 years, as such there is a window for the government to enact the necessary policies to promote economic recovery. The current exchange rate is 5.64 to the $. Following the frost of the 23-25th March the market in Malatya has pausedpending assessment of the damage.  We suspect there is short covering to be done when sellers reappear.
2019 Crop Bloom started around the 10thof March. On the 23 to 25th of March widespread frost saw temperatures between -2 and -5 C for several hours. At the time of the frost approximately 20% of the bloom had just set, mainly around the Karakaya Reservoir,  40% of the bloom was underway and 40% had not yet started. Therefore 60% of the crop was at risk of frost damage.
Significant damage is evident, and insurance companies have been called to assess damage. It is too early to quantify, but at this stage it looks unlikely the 2019 crop will reach the tonnage of the past 2 years.

date:  Apr 04, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Apricot Update 04/04/2019
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Widespread frost is forecast through the apricot growing regions from tonight

It is anticipated that 30% of bloom has set, leaving fruit-lets that are highly susceptible to frost, even -1 or -2 C can cause damage.

30% of trees are in full bloom leaving them susceptible to frost damage if temperatures fall below -3 C. 

The balance not yet in bloom but expected to bloom in the next few days.

Forecast is for temperatures in the orchards to fall below zero each night for the next 5 nights with Sunday being the coldest.

Various forecasts for Sunday night

Area                      Deg C                    State of the bloom

Akcadag               -4                                            50% in open

Baskil              -5                                 All open or set

Battalgazi       -3                                 All open or set

Darende         -4                                 30% open

Dogansehir    -6                                 Mostly not yet open

Hekimhan      -5                     Mostly not yet open

Malatya          -4                                 All open or set

Puturge          -4                                 Mostly open or set

Yazihan           -2                                 50% open

Supply and demand were well matched for the past 2 seasons and no carryover was expected. No offers are available in the market today

date:  Mar 22, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Widespread frost is forecast through the apricot growing regions from tonight
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

California Almond Board has released the February Almond Position

The Almond Board of California has released the February Almond Position Report with shipments of  +186.9 million pounds compared to 190.1 million pounds last year for a decrease of  1.7% percent.

Domestic Shipments      +58.71 million pounds   +8.7% ( new record)

Export Shipments:          +128.54 million pounds                -5.7%

The crop year to date shipments from August through February are at 1.403 billion pounds compared to  1.422 billion pounds last year for a decrease of 1.29 percent. CThe Crop Receipts are now at  +2.262 billion pounds compared to 2.250 billion pounds last year for a small increase of +0.52 percent.. 

For the past four weeks all eyes have been on the Almond Bloom in California.  The weather was less than ideal, with cooler temperatures and heavy rainfall occurring.    The cold weather prolonged the bloom by at least an extra week in some parts of the valley.  Heavy rains delayed the bloom as well.  Positive point is the ground is well saturated (wet) and the trees will work less to pull up moisture from the ground for the coming weeks as the leaves and nutlets develop.  In the Sacramento area, this season we have received over 20.25 Inches of rain, our normal for this time of the year is only 14.47 inches and last year to this date we had only received 10.48 inches of rain!  Snow Pack in the Sierra are +150% to +160% of normal for this time of the year.  Parts of Lake Tahoe received over 25 feet of snow in February alone( over 8 meres of snow in 1 month)!  Bee Flight hours were less than ideal for the State with the cooler weather and rains.  The North part of the State was impacted the most with limited Bee Flight Hours while the Southern part of the State to a lesser degree.  Keep in mind the Independence Variety does not require any bees for pollination. During the month of February, overall market had steady activity,  as buyers were waiting to see the results of the bloom and growers were concerned with selling while the bloom received too much rain and cool weather.  Prices on Stds and small Cal SSR all climbed upwards with Stds reaching $2.80 FAS and NP X 23/25 at $3.10 per lbs FAS.  Limited new crop demand/ sales took place as well.  The industry is now 74% sold on salable crop and carry in.  New sales during February were 149,978,326 pounds.

date:  Mar 12, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on California Almond Board has released the February Almond Position
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Record January Californian Almonds Shipments

The Almond Board of California has released the Position Report with shipments of  209.61 million lbs   compared to 193.50 million   pounds last year for an Increase of  8.3% and a New Record.

DOMESTIC:  Shipped 64.30 million lbs for an increase of 8.5% over last year

EXPORT:   Shipped 144.31 million lbs for an increase of 8.2% over last year.

Western Europe    –   down 7 million lbs for January      

Middle East   –       up 10 million lbs for January           

India          –               up 7 million lbs for January       

China/HK-  down 5 million lbs for January

Vietnam    –     flat

UAE     –      up 5 million lbs for January                        

1.21 Billion pounds compared to 1.23  billion million pounds last year for a decrease of -1.23% compared to last year. The crop receipts are now at 2.25  billion pounds.  With approx. 96% of the inventory in,  we could expect a final crop of 2.27- 2.28 billion lbs. With the crop being close in size to last year, we do expect there to be a tight transition on many items again this summer.   

  • 1.13 Euro equals 1.00   dollars
  • 1 Dollar equals  5.25  Turkish Lira
  • 1 Dollar equals  70.56  India Rupee
  • 1 Dollar equals  6.77  Chinese Yuan

During the past month, sales were strong with new sales in January at 179 million pounds.   Small sized Cals and Stds 5% continue to be high high demand for prompt shipments.   Small sized Butte/Padre SSR are in short supply and currently are priced higher than Large Sized Carmel SSR.  Right now, Butte/Padre SSR 36/40 is trading at a higher premium than Carmel SSR 23/25 AOL.   Some growers are now considering planting butte /padre with the continued premium these varieties are generating based on its current demand. Ramadan sales are almost finished due to the tight window to ship and have them arrive in time for the Ramadan Holiday.    This could put some pressure on NP’s and Independence. California has been enjoying some solid rains and snow  in January and Early February.   During the previous 7-10 days , the Sierra Mountains have gained 8- 10 feet, YES FEET in some areas.  Over this past weekend, they gathered another 3-4 feet in snow.  Many of the reservoirs in California are starting to let out some water, to get ready for the run off starting in March/April/May.  California is now at 100 percent of average Snowfall for this time of the year.  

The bloom as started in some areas of California.  We hearing from many growers in North, Middle and South that some of their trees are starting to bloom across the state.  We feel approx. 5% of  California is in bloom. California will be experiencing rain during this bloom period and  we do expect the growers to be watching the bee flight and activity very closely.  We expect the bloom to fully get started over the next 7-10 days and will be able to provide updates along the way.

date:  Feb 12, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Record January Californian Almonds Shipments
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Pecan Market Update

The pecan market has remained soft in the beginning of 2019. A significant amount of contracting took place in the first half of January, but many buyers are still waiting on market development. The US harvest of pecans is still projected to be reduced from crop estimates due to weather issues in the eastern and central growing regions. A larger Mexican crop balances the reduced supply in the US.

Chinese buying of Mexican inshell has strengthened market prices of late. In addition to this, off-quality in the pecan crop has already created a shortage of pecan halves. The main market forces are: a weakened tree nut commodity price, minimal Chinese participation, and delayed demand. These three factors continue to dictate current price levels.

Putting additional pressure on US/China trade talks is weak Chinese economic data, and US agricultural goods remain a key part of any future trade deal. A recent increase of Chinese inshell purchases have led to a subtle strengthening of the market. Shortages of high quality halves and a surplus of pieces continue to be the most likely result of this season, and our early season projections remain the same. A shortage of better pecan halves will lead to increased prices throughout the season for these sizes. Current market levels will most likely keep the price of pecan pieces stable.

date:  Feb 11, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Pecan Market Update
by:  Jena Dickson category:  Latest News Read More