Today the Almond Board of California released the May 2017 position report
May shipments were 170.7 million lbs. vs. 178.1 million lbs. in 2016 - down 4%
U.S. shipments are up 13% YTD and up 10% for April
Exports, up 21% YTD, were off 10% for the month. The decline is once again from China and India, which is largely due to a lack of in-shell supply left in California.
Commitments of 384 million lbs. are up 6% vs. a year ago. With 1.77 billion shipped, the industry has sold or shipped 2.153 billion lbs.; which is 86% of total supply.
The crop is progressing nicely with continued cool weather. Insect and disease pressure has been minimal. Sizing seems larger than the 2016 crop. Crop development continues on track for a later harvest than 2016.
Pricing in recent weeks has been quite stable.
Today's shipment report seems to be at the high end of expectations.
Most anticipate 2017 crop volume to surpass the subjective estimate of 2.20 billion lbs. With new crop trading near current crop parity, and well below 2016 crop averages for pollinators, it seems the market is trading on an expected crop above 2.2 billion lbs.
For the first time, we have new crop commitment figures so early in the year. The industry has sold roughly 10% of the 2017 crop. The domestic market, on track to ship about 667 million lbs. for 2016 crop, has already purchased 94 million lbs. of 2017 crop. Export markets have purchased 115 million lbs.
May sales of current crop were 145 million lbs., up from 107 in May 2016. With uncommited inventory down 6% vs. a year ago, and the anticipated late harvest, the short-term outlook for current crop, particularly certain sizes and qualities, looks very firm. One unknown is what impact a tight current crop may have on new crop pricing, although many buyers have been awaiting the 2017 crop objective estimate before contracting significant volume of new crop.
Objective Crop Estimate - July 6
June Position Report - July 11