Californian Almonds, Market Update 19.09.2023
August shipments for California almonds exceeded industry expectations, coming in at 212 million pounds. This was up 13.6% from the previous month and 7.1% off last year’s record shipment. Domestic shipments were 61.4 million pounds, up 8.6% from the previous month but down 6.2% from last year. Export shipments were 150.1 million pounds, up 15.7% from the previous month and 7.5% off from last year.
India: Shipments to India remained flat for the month at 22.5 million pounds, mainly reflecting the 2022 crop availability due to a delayed start to the 2023 harvest. With many August shipments postponed to September due to the delayed harvest, we anticipate strong September shipments. California's quality concerns with initial crop receipts led to slower new sales and firmer prices in recent weeks. (bluediamond.com)
China/Hong Kong/Vietnam: Shipments to the region were 8.5 million pounds for the month, down 24.5% from last year. A slow start was expected given the delayed California almond harvest as well as sufficient inventories in China to cover demand for the upcoming Mid-Autumn festival. Demand is expected to pick up in the coming weeks with buyers needing to get supplies moving to ensure on-time arrival for Chinese New Year.
Europe: The European markets saw an increase in shipments for August, up 2% to last year, and a new record for the month of August. The European market has seen relatively stable 2022 and 2023 crop standard prices and continue to buy hand-to-mouth. Most European buyers are looking for purchases in Q1 of 2024, with much of their short-term demand already covered.
Middle East: The Middle East markets saw a 32% drop in shipments versus a year ago. Even with that decline, the Middle East saw their 2nd strongest August shipments in history with last year being such a strong outlier. As the market begins to move out of the warmer summer months with local supplies more in balance, look for demand to return to the region in the coming months.
Domestic: August shipments for the domestic market were off 6.2% from prior year, and the lowest August figure since crop year 2016. Inflation impacts on food pricing has dampened consumer buying within the retail segment as consumers focus on staples and frequency type items. As supply chains and inflation outlook are beginning to stabilize, the US Market has ample opportunity to ramp up shipments in the coming months. Domestic commitments for crop year 2023 lag prior year by 17%, with many customers still buying for the short term, and continuing to work through long contracts. (bluediamond.com)
Total commitments were 621.9 million pounds, up 1.3% to last year. Uncommitted inventory starts the year at 35 million pounds, down 86.1% to last year and primarily a result of low receipts. New sales for the month were 256 million pounds, which is 31% higher than last year and reflective of strong activity for the month. A good portion of this was comprised of export sales. (bluediamond.com)
August crop receipts were just over 70 million pounds, 73.5% less than the same time last year. This is reflective of the later harvest timing, which is approximately 3 weeks behind last season. Harvest has since picked up throughout much of the valley. (bluediamond.com)
Many in the industry are concerned about the quality of the 2023 crop. Rainfall hit the Southern growing region of the valley just as harvest got underway, causing concern for mold and shell stain. Insect damage is prevalent across the entire valley resulting from the wet weather experienced last winter which prevented growers from getting out into the orchard to perform sanitation procedures. These quality issues have the potential of reducing the supply of higher quality inshell and kernels. (bluediamond.com)