Today the Almond Board of California released the January 2017 position report
January shipments were 165.8 million lbs. vs. 129.2 million lbs. in 2016 - UP 28%
U.S. shipments recovered further with a new record: +27% for January and +15% YTD
Exports: +28% for January and +43% YTD
Total shipments Aug - Jan: +33%
Commitments of 491 million lbs.: +10%
THE 2016 CROP
Receipts reached 2.108 billion lbs. - up 12.6% vs. a year ago. January's addition of 46 million lbs. seems slightly above expectations. If receipts Feb forward match last season, the total will reach 2.130 billion lbs. with a total marketable supply of 2.5 billion.
THE 2017 CROP
Water supply in California is excellent with rainfall double the norm. This will help the 2017 crop, but the new fruiting wood and buds for 2017 are already on the trees, so the bigger impact will be with the 2018 crop. Drought impacted orchards were helped by 2016's weather, and will be further enhanced by 2017's "El Niño" like conditions which are driving impurities below the root zone.
Bloom is later than '16 but the current warm conditions should accelerate the start. Significant storms are forecast for the next few weeks.
Despite a quiet market, the industry sold another 160 million lbs. in January and shipped above expectations. Shipped & committed reached 1.607 billion lbs. - approximately 77% of the projected marketable crop and 64% of total supply (estimated at 2.5 billion lbs).
Nonpareil receipts are already up 17% (118 million lbs.), yet is believed to be the most heavily sold variety group. This has widened the gap to 65 cents per lb. with NP 23/25 in the 3.15 range and CM 23/25 in the 2.50 range. Very limited 2017 crop trades are taking place at a slight discount.
It is incredible how high of prices other nuts are maintaining, with cashews and hazelnuts in the high 4's, despite the robust US Dollar. This is really benefiting almond consumption, with India for example up 54% YTD.
There seem to be even wider ranging forecasts on Feb-July shipments than for 2017 crop "potential", so stay tuned as we hopefully find more clarity in the coming months.
The next position report is scheduled for Thursday March 9.