The April and May shipment reports have been released from the Almond Board of California, reflecting strong numbers in both months. April shipments were 245 million / f 2,186 billion pounds, and May shipments were a new all-time pounds time record for the month, with 257.55 million total shipments pounds shipped. This brings total shipments year-to-date to 2,186 billion pounds. While it remains 10.7% behind last year’s record crop of 3.1 billion pounds, we are ahead of the 2019-2020 crop year (2,016.9 billion pounds shipped by the same time period) by 8%.
A billion-pound carryout was in the conversation just a few short months ago. Now, with two months remaining, it is realistic to consider 800 million pounds or lower as a possibility.
The weather in California has remained primarily dry. Concerns of the drought are at the forefront of every grower and will remain so until the situation is remedied.
The growers continued to have some of the driest months on record through the growing season, and many water district allocations are almost complete. With two months to go, many growers will be forced to rely on their well water alone, which may not be enough. Post-harvest irrigation is one of the most critical times, as the trees are at the top of their stress level. This could cause irreversible damage to the tree and next year’s cop without proper irrigation.
The USDA will release the objective estimate on July 8th, setting the stage for new crop sales.