Today the Almond Board of California released the May 2014 position report.
May shipments were 143.7 million lbs. vs. 131.6 million lbs. last season.
Up 9.2% Overall.
Domestic shipments were up 0.6%
Exports were up 15.3%
Recent shipment trends continue with no surprises this month. Western Europe was up 30% for the month as Spain and Italy continue to import to cover the short Mediterranean crops. Despite low inventory levels in China, shipments to the region were off 29%. India and the Middle East continued to show good numbers - up 23% and 11% respectively. Russian shipments were off 65% as the situation in Ukraine continues to impact their market.
Commitment figures were strong and indicative of the heavy buying interest seen during the past four weeks.
THE 2014 CROP:
The crop is progressing ahead of last season and much earlier than normal. The nuts hardened in May, so any lack of water going forward should have minimal impact on the crop. Kernel sizing for Nonpareils appear normal and significantly larger than the 2013 crop, which will at least partly make up for the possible lower quantity of nuts per tree. For most Carmel Types and Cals, we are also expecting larger kernels than 2013, which may still be small compared to historical averages. Insect and disease pressure have been lower than last season.
We are anticipating total shipments for the '13 season in the range of 1950 million lbs. (up 5%) and a similar carry-out to last season's 317 million lbs (which would be higher after adjusting for actual loss & exempt). The early harvest should help cushion the impact of the tight transition. If the El Niño conditions take place, we may experience a rainy fall, in which case the early harvest would be even more welcome. We believe the drought's impact on the 2014 crop will be minor and anticipate a similar or larger supply for the coming season. The serious threat is for the 2015 crop. Political developments and a wet winter are critical to 2015 supply.
We do not anticipate major changes in the market prior to the release of the NASS Objective Estimate on June 30
Posted here is the actual May 2014 Position Report
Please feel free to call or email us with any questions or thoughts.