The industry is still trying to finalize the 2016 field price. Between the August 1 beginning inventory of 132,000 tons plus deliveries by independent growers, the packers have enough inventory to take them through February. This is why it has taken so long to arrive at a 2016 grower field prices.
Wholesale prices will be very close to $1.00 to $1.05 CNF Asian/Pacific Ports. We do forecast slow increases in prices as we head towards 2016 crop.
Another 20,000 acres will probably be pulled out this year. The steady decline in bearing acreage will leave less and less tonnage available for export.
Next year’s crop will probably be closer to 300,000 than to 350,000 tons. With these numbers the 2016 field will definitely be higher.
Current reduction in sales of 8% will be offset by increased government purchases. Right now the US government will be purchasing about 20,000 tons in total for the 2015/2016 marketing year.
December sales were very good. The walnut industry will also be the benefactors of a government purchase. We have not seen the US Government solicitation but it is estimated to be between 15,000 and 20,000 tons. With the increase in sales and the US Government purchase it should dramatically decrease the carryout inventory into 2016. If the industry was able to hold 15% increase in sales, the carryout would be closer to historical averages. The industry must remain competitive because the 2016 crop may also be a fairly large crop because of the new bearing acreage. Chandler prices should start strengthening slightly. Non-Chandler products remain very competitive.
Almond sales continue to trend down over last year’s sales. At today’s average decline of 12% , the 2016 Carryout would be the highest ever at over 575 million pounds or 27% of the 1.8 billion pound estimate. Right now grower deliveries have slightly exceeded the 2015 estimate. Prices are now trending closer to $3.00 rather than $4.00. We expect the Almond prices to continue to decline but not as much as they have over the past couple months.