Today the Almond Board of California released the September 2017 position report
September shipments were 190.6 million lbs. vs. 201.6 million lbs. in 2016 - down 5.4%
U.S. shipments: -13.3% (+0.6% YTD)
Exports: -2.2% (-5.2% YTD)
Late pollinator receipts held September shipments from reaching their potential.
CURRENCY: The USD strengthened after the Fed announcements September 20, signaling future increased interest rates. The USD is at 1.18 to the Euro.
Receipts YTD as of September 30 were 844.2 million lbs. vs. 960.6 million YTD 2016. They continue to trail last season due to the late harvest and slow hulling season.
Insect damage so far is 2.35% vs. 1.24% a year ago. This along with the high volume of doubles is reducing the availability of high quality grades and increasing supply of lower spec material.
NASS seems correct in their assessment of a good Nonpareil crop and inconsistent pollinator crop. We see a high degree of variability in pollinator yields (from field to field) and the following averages (preliminary and localized): Monterey +5%, Wood Colony +14%, Butte -9%, Fritz -4%
During September, handlers were limited in what to sell due to the late crop and challenging quality. The heavy commitment figures with the prior report, along with concerns about 2017 yields, also kept some from selling. Despite only moderate activity taking place (235 million lbs. or 9% of total supply), pricing moved up due to a lack of offers. Shipped/Committed reached 1.08 billion lbs. or 41.5% of total supply - similar to a year ago.
As more sellers returned to the market in October, activity has been low. In any case, many handlers are fully committed for October from earlier sales. Due to the supply challenges mentioned and more prolonged buying for a later Chinese new year, we will need at least 2 if not 3 more shipment reports to gauge demand / real consumption, though most buyers report it's quite healthy.
Upcoming news: October Position Report - Thursday November 9
Further Info: September 2017 Position Report