Almonds: exports could be much worse
Mundus Agri. Spain’s almond exports showed another dent in September but are still surprisingly good considering that production has declined sharply.
The modest decline in exports
According to the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade Spain exported as little as 15,363 mt of almonds in September, which is 4% down on the 16,046 mt recorded in September 2021. Total exports may have climbed to 25,407 mt in the first two months of the season but are 3% down on the same period last year. However, France has stepped up buying in Spain this year as shipments have risen by 12% to 6,587 mt. Shipments to Germany have, by contrast, take a 25% dip. Exports to Italy have so far remained similar to last year. Russia has retained its position in Spain’s top ten export destinations, whereas shipments to the United States stand at 346 mt.
Production cut of 44-50%
Disappointing as the dent in exports may be, it is surprisingly good considering that production has declined sharply. While the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food pegged production 44% lower than last year at 208,615 mt in its advance estimate in July, suppliers reckon that the damage caused by spring frosts, bad pollination, and an unbearably hot summer may even reach up to 50%. Data issued by the Ministry in October shows that production took a hit in all regions. Estimates for Andalusia most notably range 57% lower, for Valencia 55% lower, and for Castilla-La Mancha 40% lower than last year. Farmers have nearly completed harvesting now.
The trouble, however, are prices. Although production has slumped this year, prices tend to only range nominally higher or similar to last year for Spanish varieties. Discontent has been rising recently as organizations call for fairer prices, with farmers struggling to cover production costs. The issue is that large carry-in supplies from the United States weigh on the market. Spain stepped up imports from the United States by 13% between August and October as opposed to the same period last year and prices for US varieties, which are also exported from Spain, are highly competitive.