Today the Almond Board of California released the August 2015 position report, the first of the new season.
August shipments were 126.2 million lbs. vs. 141.7 million lbs. last season.
Domestic up 5.5%
Exports off 20.3%
DEMAND has been extremely quiet lately. There is uncertainty regarding how much current prices have impacted consumption on a macro level.
THE 2015 CROP:
Harvest continues to be very compressed. Crop receipts as of Aug 31 were just slightly under the same time a year ago, despite the earlier crop and increased huller/sheller capacity.
Growers in most regions continue to be disappointed in their yields. The industry is expecting the crop to come in closer to 1.7 than the 1.8 billion lbs. estimated by NASS. We continue to learn more about the importance of cold winters and dynamic chilling hours for trees to get sufficient rest to produce good crops. As UC advisor David Doll pointed out, it seems the drought (low chilling hours, high salinity, etc.) has caused more alternate bearing for some orchards, in addition to the decline in state production.
Regions that produced well last season, like the East side of SJ/Stanislaus/Merced counties, are down despite many of these orchards having sufficient water. The third leaf trees, those producing their first crop, are producing about 1/3 of a normal crop. Many fifth leaf orchards declined in production when they should be making big jumps. We expect much less of a bump to total state production from the young acreage than we originally anticipated.
Insect damage is much higher than last season for some growers, but the overall average is just slightly up, at 1.5% Chipped & scratched levels seem similar to 2014. Sizing is extremely small on Butte/Padre this season.
Despite low yield reports, the market has softened due to the lack of buying activity. Many wonder at what point we'll see the spike in buying interest that normally comes around this time of year.
Posted here is a Water Supply Update
Posted here is the August 2015 Position Report
The September Position Report is due for release October 9, 2015
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or feedback.