Almond Board October shipment figures

Today the Almond Board released the October shipment figures at a very impressive 247.11 mm lbs – much above expectations. This is 0.3% from last October and now sets the bar as an all-time record for the industry. Domestic shipments were stellar, up 6.7% at 68.18 mm lbs while export shipments were down 2.0% at 178.93 mm lbs.

In anticipation of the report most observers were speculating a 220-230 mm lbs shipment figure and forecasting sales seemingly flat to last year.  Overall, there were many up and downs in regional shipments, but the most significant performances can be seen below:

  • China shipments are down 8.74 mm lbs, down 25% for the month and 31% for the year.
  • Vietnam shipments are up 5.94 mm lbs, up 74% for the month and up 31% for the year.
  • India shipments are down 2.86 mm lbs, down 10% for the month although still up 3% on the year.
  • Western Europe is up 5.11 mm lbs, up 9% for the month and down 5% for the year.
  • The Middle East is still under performing, down 7.19 mm lbs for the month and down 43% on the year.

Possibly the most predictable parts of the report were easily anticipated, however, China and Vietnam performed much better than anticipated leaving the region down approximately 3 million lbs down for the month.  Obviously the grey market channel seems to be mostly alive and well with few hindrances.

India, though anticipated, was weaker during October.  With Diwali behind them prices quickly capitulated and confidence wavered.

Europe, who up to the report was still fixated on nearby shipments, has continued to improve performance.

Ahead of the report shipments were expected to be the nuance of the report.  To buyers dismay, new commitments stole the limelight at a staggering 276.5 million lbs!  However, despite the staggering figures, commitments and shipments still lag behind historical averages and are actually more in line with the infamous 2015 crop year pace.   Nonetheless we would be foolish to say that the hand-to-mouth momentum has seemingly favoured growers, mostly.

Recent crop size conversations have focused on poor crop yields.  The crop size potential is now rumoured to be in the 2.30-2.35 bb lb range, perhaps still too early for consensus.  This has not yet been reflected in any receipt figures to date.  In fact receipts during October were an impressive 720 million lbs.  Larger sized huller and shellers mostly expected the heavy receipts, saying with the exception of the late crop and a few stick tights the crop has been hulled and shelled very quickly.  Generally it does seem the hulling season is wrapping up faster than normal.  Overall looking into receipts by variety there aren’t too many surprises.

Moving forward it’s hard not to see a hearty November shipment report.  The question again remains: how will sales be for the month?  If confidence is reciprocated from buyers we might see a surge of demand to book up through the end of the year.  In fact, domestic buyers appear to be on the heels of last year’s commitments and shipments slightly ahead.  It’s the export buyers who’s currencies, economies, and trade norms have been volatile that behind.

Prices have largely been flat during October and only very recently showed signs of wavering.  In fact, coming into the month (and last month for that matter) it appeared prices were hanging on (perhaps by a string) – this report will reinforce seller confidence.  Prior to the release of the report standard 5% were trading near $2.35, Cal SSR 27/30 $2.50-3, NPX 23/25 $2.96-98 and Nonpareil inshell around $2.10/lb.

Overall the industry ‘needed’ a strong month to keep market fundamentals in check.  There are still questions to be answered, i.e., will China keep performing, will the Mid-East ever catch up, and what will the final crop amount to?  Needless to say, another report or two like October might create a few other interesting questions…

date:  Nov 12, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Almond Board October shipment figures
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More


The October 2018  shipments versus the October 2017 shipments on an inshell equivalent were down 14%. Total was 91,416 tons versus 106,454 tons last year.

Last year’s receipts as of October 31st were 569,560 tons. (Final crop receipts were 627,798 tons) This year, the report shows 597,269 tons.

Market: These numbers were expected for many suppliers in CA. The crop this year was 1-2 weeks later than last year, Chandler inshell did not start shipping until last week October and Chandler kernels did not start for some until first week November. The result are shipping numbers down 14%. Many of these delayed shipments are now shipping in November which should result in a very strong November shipment number. November vessel space is virtually non-existent.

Price: Pricing in the past month has come off its low of mid/low .80’s for JL Chandler to mid to high .90’s, Chandler 20% has gone from below 2.30 per lb FAS to 2.45 per lb, Chandler 80% from 2.50 to 2.65. Currently pricing is stable with business being done at the given levels, heavy premiums are being offered for Jumbo or larger inshell. Despite the weaker October shipping figures we do expect this stability to last through at least November. Even at these slightly higher levels walnuts are still a relative bargain.

Crop Size/Quality:  Consensus among suppliers is that Chandler crop, especially northern part of the state, is below what was originally expected. Depending on supplier, guestimates are as much as 10-15%. Howards in the north are slightly better but are still said to be even to off 8%. The crop in the Middle and South part of the state is even to up 5%, Tulare crop being the main culprit for the increase.

The edible yield on inshell is down across the state, on early inshell we are seeing 43-46% edible yield on Chandler. This is compared to 47-51% a year ago. Colour is EXCELLENT this year, we have seen many shipments on Chandler with over 93% Light + Extra Light. Lower yield DOES NOT equate to lower quality.

date:  Nov 09, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on WALNUT MARKET AND CROP UPDATE- October 2018
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Chris Wilding & Simon Heather appointed to Board of Directors

With immediate effect Chris Wilding and Simon Heather will join the Board of Directors of Chelmer Foods Limited. Both Chris and Simon have made a significant contribution to the ongoing success of the company since first joining in 2007 and 2010 respectively.

The Board of Directors thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you at IFE in March.

date:  Nov 02, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Chris Wilding & Simon Heather appointed to Board of Directors
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

James Weaire appointed Managing Director

James will succeed Roger Weaire, who has been our MD for 26 years having established the company in 1992. During his tenure Roger has built a business of great strength and reputation, from humble beginnings to the leader in its sector.

The values that he has set out are the hallmarks of Chelmer Foods and will be upheld by The Board as we plan the future.

Whilst James and The Board will be responsible for the day to day running of the business, we will be able to continue to draw on the benefit of Roger’s experience as we are delighted to announce that he has agreed to become our Chairman.

date:  Nov 02, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on James Weaire appointed Managing Director
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Turbulent time for Sesame

Don’t rely on crop data as prices trend will be deciding on arrival of new crop & overseas demand. Market went at year’s highest level, no farmers/stockiest came to show their interest to sell their stock, which proved low inventory & raised doubt on new crop sowing data provided by government authority.

Sowing was similar to last year according to announced data, but information via farmer’s interviews on local news channel/newspapers are suggesting that excess/delayed rain caused disease in sesame tree/sowing delayed forced them to wash out sesame for re-sowing of other crops.

In annual meeting of IOPEPC last week, they were expecting new year crop of white natural sesame seeds 1,77,000 tons. Indian consumption stands by 1,00,000 tons (both black & white sesame) and Indian exports 3,36,844 tons for the year 2017-18. If we go with numbers, it’s going to be crazy.

Setting the numbers aside; going with the arrival status of new crop after new Indian year, demand from Europe, USA, China & Korea (Overall overseas demand), import support from Africa & effect on consumption/production of sesame bread & other sesame confectionery due to higher raw material cost.

Some packers/exporters are not taking any position to offer sesame seeds, as market is changing every hour, so our suggestion is to wait for better & stable market to take selling/buying position.

date:  Oct 30, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Turbulent time for Sesame
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Hurricane Michael causes havoc in pecan growing area around Georgia

Last week hurricane Michael hit the pecan area in Georgia.
Rumours suggest that the damage is significant. The upcoming weeks it will become clear what the exact damage will be.

However, first reports are not looking good for the Georgia crop.
Last year Georgia was also hit by a hurricane. In the beginning it was claimed that there was 50% damage. At the end, the damage was negligible.
This year, however, the feeling is that things are much worse than last year.

First of all, we hear that a lot of trees have been blown out of the ground. Also the wind has blown the nuts from the trees onto the grounds.
Next to the heavy wind, there have been heavy rains, which might make it hard for the growers to harvest of the nuts fallen on the ground.
This could mean that a large portion of the Georgian crop could be lost.

Obviously it is still very early. And we will endeavour to keep you up to date on the developments.
For now, we see that most suppliers are off the market to see how much the Georgian crop is damaged.


date:  Oct 16, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Hurricane Michael causes havoc in pecan growing area around Georgia
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

2018 season’s official berry count

This is a preliminary note to inform 2018 season’s official berry count standard recently announced by the Turkish Ministry of Economy.

Jumbo Standard Medium Small Small – Small
Below 200 201-280 281-380 381-500 501+

Please let us know if you have any questions or need any information.

date:  Oct 09, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on 2018 season’s official berry count
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Almond August Position Report -8.5% percent decrease

The Almond Board of California has released the August Position Report with shipments tallying  +154.2 million pounds compared to 168.5  million pounds last year for a -8.5%  percent decrease.

The August shipments had been expected to be lower than last year as harvest was off to a slower start this season combined with the later Diwali Holiday so India was not pushing as hard for early shipments and impacts of the international tariffs and currency issues impacting many countries.

YEAR TO DATE SHIPMENTS: 1st month of the season with shipments at  154.2 million pounds compared to  168.5  million pounds last year for a decrease of -8.5 percent.  Thanks

  • INDIA- +8%- +22.2 million pounds versus 20.4 million lbs last year
  • China – +3%- 4.6 million versus 4.4 million lbs last year
  • Spain-  – 30%   12.3 million lbs versus 17.5 million last year
  • Germany-  -40%-   6.3 million lbs versus 10.5 million last year
  • U A E-   -42%    1.2 million lbs versus 2.0 million lbs last year
  • Turkey-   -77%    731K versus 3.1 million lbs last year

The industry is now at a 20.8% sold percent for the new crop and 24.3% sold on total marketable( new crop plus carry -in).  Total commitments are at 515 million pounds versus 677 million pounds last year.  Overall new sales are lower than in past years.  New sales in August were +238 million pounds.

  • The 1 euro is at 1.16 dollars.
  • Rupee is at 72.59 to the 1 dollar.
  • Yuan is at 6.87  to 1 dollar.
  • Turkish Lira at 6.43 lira to 1 dollar

NASS has the crop estimate at 2.45 billion pounds for 2018.

Harvest has been somewhat eventful.  The crop came in much slower and receipts for the 2nd year in a row are behind pace. This is a sign of a later harvest than last year and even behind normal or averages harvest times.  Receipts haven’t lagged this far behind since August of 2012.  We have heard some chatter insect damage concerns and low NP yields – mostly geared in the western valley.   The insect damage on received goods is lower than last year but still high at 1.76%.   Generally, California should have no issues handling the insect levels as most simple plants have plenty of lasers and a lot insect can be pulled out at the sheller.  You will notice most of your inshell will have rates at or above 2%.  Normally we would see packers be careful offering NPX material but the need for sales outweighs the concern for quality.   Sizing seems to be uneventful, with most of the state report much smaller than normal NP.   Most believe the NP crop to be behind last year at this point.  However, most packers we talk to aren’t reporting 3rd leaf or the gear up in young trees which is so critical to guesstimate crop sizing.  Nonetheless, harvest results range wildly in places and overall it does seem there are more reports of down than up.  California type harvest is in full swing, we do not have any detailed results yet but we have heard reports all over the board.  At the end of the day it is simply too early to draw conclusions.

Most are expecting the September shipments to be off slightly due to the impact of currency and tariffs affecting many markets.  Some packers are reporting being full for their September and October productions schedules while others do have space in October for new contracts.


date:  Sep 12, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Almond August Position Report -8.5% percent decrease
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Apricots exports started the season strongly

  • Exports in August were 7,546 tons, compared to 8,547 tons last year.
  • Average export price for whole apricots for August  was $2988/ton FOB compared to $2,986 in July.

Exports started the season strongly when you consider that there was a 10 days public holiday from the 17th to the 27th of August during which all plants, ports and customs were shut. The same holiday in 2017 fell in September and because it straddled the weekend only lasted for 5 days.

Lower prices due to the devaluation of the Lira were not reflected in August shipment numbers, but will start to affect average prices and increased sales from September onwards.

Harvest was completed early in August without any rain damage, however micros are high this year possibly due to the extremely wet growing conditions right up to harvest. We have been rejecting significant lots of incoming materials, and have decided to micro test every lot before it is accepted into the plant this year. As previously reported speckles and hail damage blemishes are high. The majority of the fruit is size 1 through 4.

Overall supply of  2018 crop plus a small carryover is estimated at 120,000 tons, the same as the previous year.

Of course the big story in July and August was the dramatic fall in the Lira, from 4.80 to the greenback at the beginning of harvest in July the Lira fell to an all time low of more than 7.00 before regaining some of its losses. This week it has been somewhat stable in a range between 6.45 and 6.75. The trigger for the falls were a combination of a lack of confidence in the new economy team and their policies, ongoing political tensions with the USA and rising inflation.  So far none of the actions taken to address these have been considered effective.

Dollar to Turkish Lira March to September 2018

Lower $ prices as a result of the devaluation have fuelled significant demand, prices are at an 11 year low, despite supply being no more than last year. As happened in the 1990’s in Turkey, producers of export commodities have started to look to increase prices in line with the fall in the Lira to offset the rising cost of input materials and living expenses. The majority of farmers who needed cash have now sold, and prices have started to firm in Malatya. As supply of quality material dwindles as it did last year during the autumn we expect a similar pattern of firming prices. We think we have seen the bottom of the market this year.

date:  Sep 10, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Apricots exports started the season strongly
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Californian Walnut Crop Estimate 2018

The 2018 California walnut production is forecast at a record 690,000 tons, up 10 percent from 2017’s production of 630,000 tons. This is very close to the Handler’s Estimate of 691,000 tons that came out  at the end of July.  This forecast is based on the 2018 Walnut Objective Measurement (O.M.) Survey, which was officially conducted August 1st  through August 21st. , 2018.

Late spring rains  provided cooler conditions which increased kernel size and helped quality. Insect pressure was reported to be down from last year. During the excessive heat waves over the summer, growers applied preventative materials to help prevent sunburn. Harvest is expected to begin during within the next 2-3 weeks, during the middle of September.

The 2018 Walnut O.M. Survey utilised a total of 726 blocks with two sample trees per block. Survey data indicated an average nut set of 1,176 per tree, up 3 percent from 2017’s average of 1,141 per tree.

Will this estimate now bring more buyers into the market? The 690,000 tons is right in line with what the suppliers had originally thought.

We do expect pricing to remain somewhat stable until we get into harvest and see what the yield and quality of the crop will be.

date:  Sep 03, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Californian Walnut Crop Estimate 2018
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More