Californian Almond Market Outlook, 12.09.2022
The Almond Board of California has released the August Position Report with shipments of +228.3 million pounds compared to 207.3 million pounds for an increase of +10.1 percent. This had been expected that shipments would be good in August. As you will recall, we pointed out last month a large vessel at the end of July was rolled from July into August, thus assisting the August shipments. The large carry over-assisted, as well, as many loads of old crop were shipped out in August to many destinations.
POUNDS(million lbs) PERCENT
DOMESTIC 65.45 -1.7%
EXPORT 162.85 +15.7%
YEAR TO DATE SHIPMENTS: Shipments of 228.3 million pounds compared to 207.3 million pounds for an increase of 10.1 percent. Only August is reported as the first month of the new campaign.
264.2 versus last year of 311.5 million pounds for a decrease of 15.1 percent. Many growers and packers have been reporting that the crop was coming in lighter in quantity during August. These numbers substantiate the flow of communications about the crop being down.
The almond harvest has been in full swing for the past 2-4 weeks throughout the valley. General comments for the majority of the state is that Nonpareils were coming in down compared to last year reflecting the Objective Estimate or even being down more than what the Objective Estimate was indicating. Sizes on Nonpareil are smaller than what was expected, unless you are in the North part of the state, where sizes are larger due to the Frost during the bloom. Independence are plentiful. We will have more quantity this year than last year on Independence. Monterey also looks to be a very strong crop, and in some areas, the harvest is started. There have been comments that severe damage is higher this season, as there were fewer nuts in the orchards, so the insect did impact some orchards more than others.
New Sales in August in were very impressive at 195 million pounds compared to last year at 137 million pounds for an increase of 58 million pounds over last year. A part of the strength of sales can be attributed to the larger carry over (836.8 million pounds at end of July) and the packers/growers being focused on marketing it during August to clear out warehouses and make room for the new crop arriving now. The Industry is now sold for carry-in and expected new crop at +24.9 percent. During the past few weeks prices on new crop have remained stable to slightly higher as growers realized the crop was coming in lighter in quantity than expected. Internationally, India was significantly lower (down 39% for August) for shipments, which will assist them to move their existing inventories there. Middle East was up +174% and Western Europe was up +5%.
The State of California has been under intense weather related issues during the past week with temperatures reaching 117 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of the state. These extreme temperatures for over a week during harvest are not ideal as it only stresses the trees further. The States reservoirs are now critically low and we are desperate for rain this Winter. The US is now in Fire Season. A massive fire in the mountains has erupted 1 hour east of Sacramento during this extreme heat and it is going crazy pumping smoke clouds up miles into the sky ( looking larger than Mt. Everest).
Finally, we have a positive comment to report that freight rates have started to ease in the past month, making them more affordable compared to the exorbitant rates from this Spring. Container and vessel availability is still not ideal, with some rolls taking place, but it is better than one year ago.
All businesses always refer to supply and demand impacting the overall pricing. This is true, however, there are larger factors affecting overall consumption and pricing for almonds:
Record strong US Dollar
WAR In Europe
High Fuel/Gas costs
Consumers are more conservative in the shopping habits