Author Archives Chris Wilding

Situation in the Philippines – received from our partners

This is to update you on the current situation here in the Philippines with regards to our fight against COVID -19. Right at this moment, there is already 193 cases here.  Number of death climbed to 14. On the evening of Monday, March 16, our President Duterte declared the whole Luzon Island under enhanced community quarantine.  Staying at home will be strictly implemented. Offices are closed except those working in the medical field, food related work, bank (but limited), police and military, groceries and supermarkets (limited). All public transportations are suspended. You are only allowed to go outside if you are going to buy food, seeking for medical treatment and if going to work. If you don’t have your own vehicle, local government will provide. Curfew from 8pm-5am is also being imposed.

Right now, we are working from our homes.

Then last night, whole Region XI (Davao Region) has also declared lockdown effective today.  And starting midnight of March 19, all vehicles travelling outside this region will be allowed but entering into will be prohibited.

Our worry is, since our raw materials are coming from outside, that is Region XII, there is high possibility that our trucks and (suppliers’) will get hold somewhere and will not be allowed to enter our Region until the lockdown period ends.

We will continue monitoring the situation. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

The situation here is getting harder everyday. Movement is very limited. I know most of you can relate.

I can’t imagine that we will reach the point that if the situation gets worse, we are afraid that our operation will stop and we will force to shut down the plant. We need to follow the directives of our Government. After all, this is for the welfare of our people.

Right at this moment, the possibility is very high. Until when?  we don’t know.

As I’ve said, we will continue monitoring the situation

date:  Mar 19, 2020 comments:  Comments Off on Situation in the Philippines – received from our partners
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Almond Board July shipments

The California Almond Board has released the July Almond Shipment Report with RECORD JULY SHIPMENTS of +154.1 million pounds compared to 143.8 million pounds last year for an increase of +7.2 percent.

DOMESTIC         62.87 million pounds     +4.9%

EXPORT              91.32 million pounds     +8.9%

2018 CROP YEAR TO DATE SHIPMENTS:  The final shipment data for the 2018 crop is at +2.264 billion pounds compared to 2.251 billion pounds for an increase of +0.56 percent.

CROP Year to date total shipments

  • India                                 +16%
  • Spain                                -4%
  • Germany                          – 18%
  • Western Europe              -2%
  • South Korea                     +12%
  • Turkey                               – 30%
  • U A E                                 +9%
  • China/HK                          -25%

The final crop for 2018 crop is at +2.269 billion pounds.  We basically shipped the entire crop which was produced this past year.

CURRENCY: Volatility, potential interest rate adjustments, internal country conflicts, and trade wars seem to be highlighting all discussions.

  • 1 Euro is at $1.12 dollars
  • 1 Dollar is 7.04 Chinese Yuan
  • 1 Dollars is 71.12 India Rupee
  • 1 Dollar is 5.60 Turkish Lira

The Objective Crop Estimate is now at 2.2 billion pounds significantly lower than the Subjective Estimate of 2.5 billion pounds.  When this was announced in early July all prices jumped significantly ( increased 30- 40 cents per lbs for kernels) due to the concerns for a shortage of almonds in the coming crop.  Over the past month we seen all prices slide back approximately 10-20 cents per lbs for kernels and now more demand is starting to come into the markets as buyers are beginning to purchase new crop.  The Crop estimate is at 2.2 billion pounds yet many buyers and some growers believe the crop to be closer to 2.4 billion pounds.  Thus it is unknown what the real crop will be for a few more months until harvest is almost completed.  New sales during July were at  155,619,260 pounds.

Harvest has begun up and down the state of California during the past week. Normally we would begin the end of July and this year it was the 1st week/2nd week of August for many to begin.  It is extremely early to make any comments on sizing or coloring at this time.

Based on the position report, we are now at +16 percent sold based for new crop on a 2.2 billion pound crop and +15 percent sold based on a 2.4 billion pound new crop.

date:  Aug 15, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Almond Board July shipments
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More

Walnuts July shipment report

The California Walnut Board released the July shipment report on Friday. Total shipments were 27,532 tons, up 3% from last June shipments of 26,739 tons. Domestic shipments were up 11.49% and exports were down 10.57%. Domestic shipments YTD are 223,591 tons, up 15.49% and exports YTD totals 425,903 tons, up 6.64%. Total YTD shipments are now at 649,494 tons, up 9.53% from this stage last year.

Using historical averages for August from 2016-2018, the estimated carryout is 57,584 tons.

Since the last report, and as discussed in our market update last week, the subjective packer estimate for the 2019 crop came out at 691,000 tons. This comes from a range of packer expectations between 680,000 and 700,000 tons. Note this is nothing official, and the official NASS estimate will be released in a few weeks. Some business has been done on new crop, JL Chandler inshell trading from $1.20-1.25/lb. FAS CA basis. Middle East seemed to been the most active, with India, Turkey and Europe feeling out the market as well.

date:  Aug 15, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on Walnuts July shipment report
by:  Chris Wilding 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

South African Field Report 8.2.19

Vine fruit

Weather conditions have been very good until first week February. Rain is forecasted for the next few days and it may reduce the crop size. Impact on quality will depend on the period the product will be exposed to the rain. We will provide update soonest.

The product that has been dried is of excellent quality, but the crop is two weeks later than PY, therefore the next few weeks are critical . Rain is the last thing that the farmers and packers need at this stage of the crop.

The size of the crop seems to be smaller than 2018 and is estimated to be around 65 000 tonnes. The currant crop in Vredendal will be even smaller than PY and the impact of the drought still evident. The volumes of the lighter product in color , particularly golden sultanas will be significantly lower, mainly due to the high prices being offered for TSR to farmers. Farmers were therefore inclined to dry more TSR and less goldens. At this stage less than 3% of the product has been delivered, but by end February one should have a better idea of volumes and availability.

Prices to farmers are at record levels in Rand terms.

Tree fruit

The sugar levels of the apricots are not as high as previous years and the weight per fruit as a result is lower. The apricot crop therefore again in very short supply. The volumes of Elberta peaches and pears also lower due to low prices offered to farmers.

date:  Feb 11, 2019 comments:  Comments Off on South African Field Report 8.2.19
by:  Chris Wilding category:  Latest News Read More