Today the Almond Board of California released the November 2017 position report
November shipments were 228.5 million lbs. vs. 187.5 million lbs. in 2016 - up 21.8%
U.S. shipments: +17% (+5.8% YTD)
Exports: +23.7% (+4.6% YTD)
U.S. buyers report excellent almond consumption. With the late harvest and challenging quality, handlers could finally get sufficient product out the door to meet pent up requirements.
Europe was up 27% for the month, likely for the same reasons as the U.S. market. The 12% growth YTD is very similar to the last season's growth of 10%. The almond industry continues to invest further in promoting consumption in the region, with ABC programs in the U.K., France, Germany, and a new program just starting in Italy.
India shipments were nearly 30 million lbs. vs. 6.9 last November. They are up 24% YTD at 110.4 million lbs. Supply was already reported to be high in their local market, so today's figures are expected to quiet the Indian market for the near future.
China (including HK/Vietnam) was down 7% for the month and down 13% YTD. With the Year of the Dog coming up in China, New Year celebrations start 19 days later. We expect a huge jump in December shipments to the region.
Receipts YTD reached 1.993 billion lbs. vs. 1.930 billion YTD 2016. For the month, receipts were 464.2 million lbs. vs. 371.7 in Nov 2016.
For the past 4 years, end Nov receipts ranged from as low as 86.4% of final receipts to as high as 92.7%. End December receipts have a narrower 4 year history range of 96.3 - 97.7% of final receipts. So with the next position report we should have better insight into final receipts, but for now will continue to use the NASS estimate of 2.25 billion lbs.
REVIEW & OUTLOOK:
Sales during November were 212 million lbs. - approximately 9% of the crop. Very strong sales compared to the 150 million lbs. sold in November 2016, yet the market was flat due to steady selling interest.
Shipped/Committed reached 1.494 billion lbs. (up 149.7 million lbs.) This is 57.4% of total supply (vs. 53.7% a year ago) or 67.8% (vs. 64.2%) of saleable supply. This puts most sellers in a comfortable sold position.
Water: The good news is California reservoirs are at strong historical levels. However, rainfall is about 1/3 to 1/2 of normal in the San Joaquin Valley regions and the Sierra Nevada snow pack is 37% of normal. The warmer / drier winter is starting to have a slight impact on the market.
Today's shipments were above expectations and December is expected to be another strong month. A minor firming may take place following today's report.
Upcoming news: December Position Report - Thursday January 11, 2018