Today the Almond Board of California released the February 2017 position report
February shipments were 152 million lbs. vs. 155 million lbs. in 2016 - down 1.8%
U.S. shipments were up slightly while exports were off slightly.
Total shipments Aug - Feb: +28%
Commitments of 483 million lbs.: +15%
THE 2016 CROP
Receipts reached 2.126 billion lbs. - up 13% vs. a year ago.
THE 2017 CROP
Although the weather for the first half of bloom was the poorest in many years, this turned out to be a surprisingly long bloom. Cool temperatures, especially at night, helped prolong the pollination period. The late and long lasting bloom, combined with a cool March, could lead to a much later harvest this year.
All varieties seemed to have many flowers going into bloom, but the later varieties (such as Butte/Padre) had the better weather, so are more likely to have a strong crop. It is too early to gauge the 2017 crop accurately, which makes the market especially unpredictable for the coming weeks.
The industry was expecting shipments to slow down vs. last year in the back half of the season due to the strong back half last season and heavy shipping in the first half of this season (+33%). This was the first down shipping month of the season. Many buyers delayed purchases due to expectations bloom would go well, which would have put pressure on the market. Then when storms created market uncertainty, sellers held off from offering which also likely reduced shipments. One month by itself is not significant and almond demand is benefiting from lower prices, positive health trends worldwide, and the umbrella of high priced competing nuts.
Obviously we only see a small percentage of the crop and the global markets, and would love to hear what you are seeing.
The next position report is scheduled for Tuesday April 11