CALIFORNIA ENGLISH WALNUT Market Report & 2015 Crop Update
On Tuesday, July 28th, the California Walnut Handlers Coalition held their annual meeting to establish a subjective estimate for the
2015 California Walnut crop. Based on their findings, the 2015 California Walnut crop is estimated to be 607,000 in‐shell short tons. The
handlers, who span across all major growing regions, achieved this estimate by averaging their individual appraisals.
SHIPMENT AND MARKETING REPORT
The California Walnut Board’s Monthly Shipment Report released on July 13th indicated that shipments continue to exceed last year’s
performance both for the month of June (31,235 in‐shell equivalent tonnage) and YTD for this marketing year (459,263 v. 476,787). The
increase is consistent with the larger 2014 crop, currently reported as handlers’ receipts of 562,512 tons.
This month kernel shipments to the US moved above last year’s levels. June MOM was up 42.43% (10,317,024 vs. 14,694,839) and
could be a reflection of lower priced Light Amber material typically sold in the domestic market. The 2014 crop yielded a higher than average
% of this material pool and will likely make up the majority of the carry‐in inventory to the 2016 marketing year. We are currently tracking the
carry‐in to be slightly higher than 85,000 tons and <10% of the estimated 2015 total supply.
Export shipments are typically slower during the warm summer months; however, all geographic regions reported an increase in June
(with the exception of South America). Even with reports of heavy stocks, Korean shipments increased (2.06% MOM). While currency
challenges continue, it has not halted the growth of sales. Importers will be watching closely to see where the market opens in September. If
market conditions are favourable, then we would anticipate a continued increase in demand that will be closely matched with overall supply.
As reflected in the crop estimate, the trees are heavy with nuts and reported to be of good size and quality. California ttemperatures
have been relatively mild this summer. Weather conditions in the Southern San Joaquin Valley have been favourable with record rain falls for
July (from monsoons and tropical storms) and only a handful of days above 100°F. We are hopeful to move through August without concerns
and look to begin harvesting in‐line with historical norms.
To date, reports of dry wells or orchards without adequate irrigation resources have been limited in number and geographically