Today the Almond Board of California released the September 2016 position report.
September shipments were 202 million lbs. vs. 143 million lbs. in 2015 - UP 41%
September sales of 359 million lbs. was an all-time record - greatly surpassing the previous record of 277 in October 2014. Committed (unshipped) is up 45% vs. a year ago. Total shipped & committed surpassed 1 billion lbs.
USA (+15%) showed interest in both quick deliveries and far out periods. Buyers seem optimistic about growing consumption again.
China (+82%) has been covering steadily ahead of their early New Year celebrations.
India (+40%) also has their early Diwali. They have been mostly absent from the market due to heavy shipments afloat.
The Middle East (+173%) finally returned in a big way after working through most of the spring shipments.
Western Europe (+5%) was an active buyer during September. The region is up 21% for the season as the Spanish crop is yielding below expectations. Spain's drought has negatively impacted their crop, so offers are hard to find and pricing is at least 20% above CA pricing.
THE 2016 CROP
Receipts reached 990.6 million lbs. - up 7.4 vs. a year ago. The general consensus is still for a crop above NASS' 2.05 Billion lb. forecast.
In March the market hit bottom and it is taking time for the low prices to reach consumers. Following a bearish August, the focus over the past month shifted to the idea that almonds were under-priced and the industry cannot continue such a high sales and shipment pace. This has pushed pricing up 0.35/lb.
California's drought is increasingly part of the market discussion again and some believe the winter weather is a key market factor.
Many wonder when the heavy buying interest will slow, and when it does, how big of a selling interest will appear. The increasingly strong USD and world economic uncertainty should also bring caution.
In the meantime, the industry continues with a comfortable sold position above 40% and expectations for another impressive shipping report for October. The shock of today's figures is already pushing pricing higher with Unsized Cals up 0.10/lb.
Next position report: Tuesday November 8, 2016 (**REVISED Oct 31 from originally planned Nov 11 release)