Almond Review - Aug 2015

Today the Almond Board of California released the July 2015 position report.  

July shipments were 122.5 million lbs. vs. 132.5 million lbs. last season.

Domestic off 3.1% 

Exports off 10.6%

DEMAND:

This was the final report of the crop year and shipments were off 6.4% overall.  Below is re-cap of shipments to key regions:

            % Change /  2015 Crop Shipments  / 2014 Crop Shipments (millions of lbs.)

USA                             +0.40%   641.8    639.4 

Western Europe             -12%      468      532.3

Middle East / Africa        -5%     187.7    197.5

China/HK                      -12%    128.1    144.8

India                               +21%    123.7    102.2

Japan                              -13%    65.9     75.8

South Korea                      flat      53.5    53.5

Canada                             -5%    38.8    40.7

Southeast Asia                   -3%    33.5    34.4

Central/Eastern Europe   -66%    18.8   55.5

 

THE 2015 CROP:

We are well into the Nonpareil harvest and it is very much a mixed bag.  In our area of the westside, we are noticing trends.  The fields that are very stressed are showing yields of 2/3 of last season (poor quality well water) and half of last season (lack of water), and shriveled almonds, as expected.  The orchards that were shockingly low last season, but not greatly stressed, are up 30-50% with a few fields even doubling.  In orchards with average to high yields last season, the yields are off 10-15% due to the very low turn-outs (percentage of almond to field weight).  We are hearing about disappointing yields and very low turn-outs from the south end of the valley (Kern County) and from Madera County.  The north is showing a much better crop than last season, though limited turn-out data is available.  Kernel sizes state-wide are smaller than anticipated.  

The almonds are coming off the trees much better than last season.   This is looking like a compressed harvest with many pollinator maturation not far behind the Nonpareils.  On the west side some Butte/Padre have already been shook and hull split is starting with Monterey.   

We are hearing mixed reports about insect damage.  With the unusual weather we have seen an increase in hull rot on the east side of the valley but have only seen spotty hull rot on the west side.  

Monterey crop

 

OUTLOOK:

With sizing so small, it may take handlers some time to accumulate large sizes out of new crop.  Buyers should consider covering nearby needs for large sizes out of remaining '14 crop inventory.  

Buying interest has been low and sporadic.  Grower interest to sell has been slow and steady.  This has made for an inactive and fairly stable market. 

Many orchards throughout the San Joaquin valley appear unhealthy due to the salt-build up in the soil and/or increased salt concentration in the water supplied to the trees.  The potential for the 2016 crop is reduced because of these unhealthy orchards.  

Almond plantings continued at a heavy pace and head east as some growers try their luck in Arizona.

Posted here is a Water Supply Update 

Posted here is the July 2015 Position Report 

The August Position Report is due for release Friday September 11

Let's all hope for a dry harvest and a normal to wet winter to follow!

Paul Ewing      Dennis Soares