Today the Almond Board of California released the April 2017 position report
April shipments were 152 million lbs. vs. 167.6 million lbs. in 2016 - down 9.3%
U.S. shipments are up 14% YTD and continue erratic tendencies with a flat April
Exports, up 25% YTD, were off 13% for the month with most of the decline from China and India, where buyers have been working through stocks.
Commitments of 410 million lbs. are down 5% vs. a year ago but historically solid. With 1.599 billion shipped, the industry has sold or shipped over 2 billion lbs.; which is 96% of the salable crop or 80% of the total supply (including carry-in).
For the short-term, one of the big questions is how much pent up demand remains and how full the pipelines already are. A year ago, we were coming to the end of a heavy buying wave which was followed by a quiet summer. Recently it's been quiet, so we may see the wave a little later than last year or see the buying more spread out.
Looking out further, assuming a crop of 2.2 billion lbs., as estimated by NASS yesterday, we would only see an increased total supply of a few percent for the 2017 season. Shipments are up 21% YTD and on track for an increase of perhaps 15% (if shipments average the same for the remaining 3 months). So an increased supply of a few percent should mean almonds were underpriced today and would need to increase to slow the current rate of demand growth. However, the estimate we have so far is only subjective and doesn't carry as much weight as the objective.
June Position Report - June 9
Objective Crop Estimate - July 6