Pistachio Market Update
The ACP just revealed the May pistachio shipment data, which were generally positive. Shipments increased to practically every destination, totalling a 31.58 percent increase. Pistachio shipments in California are up 13.55 percent year to date. Export shipments increased by 52.67 percent, while year-to-date shipments are up 17.03 percent. The key driver of the increase in pounds was the fact that most markets were up for the month.
In May, Europe had a 67.30 percent increase in shipments. Domestic shipments increased by 6.93 percent in May, bringing the year-to-date total to 7.05 percent. We won't spend a lot of time on this report evaluating specific shipments; suffice to say, things appear to be heading in the right direction. We believe it is more valuable to look ahead at this time to get a peek of what 2021/22 might be like.
With only three months left in the crop year, we can start to see the carryout picture clearly. We're expecting a 215 million pound inshell carryout, which would be the greatest in California history. On paper, the entire carryout with shelling stock and closed shell would be just over 300 million.
However, the industry appears to be content with these figures at the time. It is primarily in the hands of the industry's largest handler. The majority of the other independent handlers have sold out. Looking at the global landscape, Iran and Turkey will likely provide far less rivalry in the years 21/22.
California appears to be hopeful that the conditions will allow for increased production over the 2018/19 crop year, when we shipped a record 634 million pounds of inshell. In comparison, we expect there to ship around 600+/- million lbs. of inshell in 2020/21.
What does it all mean? For the next 15 months, we believe prices will remain rather constant. Of course, our forecasts could be off and the crop could be larger or smaller than expected, but we believe current industry pricing is a good starting point and can be adjusted depending on how the 21 crop performs.
We anticipate the industry will formally start pricing for the 2021 harvest on October 1st, as it has in previous years. As we gain a better understanding of how the nuts are filling, we hope to have more to report on the approaching 21 crop progress in July and August.