The November 2019 Walnut position report is out and the Californian walnut industry is up 1.3% in Nov.2019 over PY and up 1.55% YTD vs. PY. Receipts were 632,060 inshell ton through November 2019. Based on historical information this is estimated to be about 98% of the total which extrapolates a total crop of approximately 645,000 inshell ton. If this comes to fruition, this year’s crop will be about 4% down from the 2018-2019 crop of 672,723 ton. This is a welcome relief from many packer’s beliefs (after receiving in much of the early varieties) that the crop would not make 600,000 ton.
It seems packers remain busy; however, most are unenthusiastic to book spot business for prompt shipment if it obstructs their already fully packed schedules. There has been talk that most packers are at least 60% sold YTD with some over 70% sold. Generally, packers aim to be around 60% sold by January 1st heading into the slower season.
It is likely that the crop will be finalized around 640,000 to 645,000 inshell ton or about approximately 4.0-4.5% down from the 2018-2019 crop. Buyers will continue to question the disparity between this decline in crop size and the approximately 40% price increase on inshell and 20% in kernel prices over last year’s average prices.