Today the Almond Board of California released the July 2014 position report.
July shipments were 132.5 million lbs. vs. 151.1 million lbs. last season.
Down 12.3% Overall.
Domestic shipments were up 4.6%
Exports were off 21%
Shipments finished the 2013 crop year up 3.8%, reaching 1.937 billion lbs. vs. 1.866 last season.
Looking back at the shipments for the crop year we saw:
USA up 9.% (an increase of 53 million lbs.)
Western Europe up 14% (61 million lbs.)
China/Hong Kong off 30% (63 million lbs.)
India off 18% (23 million lbs.)
Middle East up 19% (29 million lbs.)
Japan up 15% (10 million lbs.)
South Korea up 16% (8 million lbs.)
Russia off 28% (13 million lbs.)
Commitments (sold / unshipped) of 191 million lbs. were the same as last season.
THE 2014 CROP:
This is the earliest harvest in recent history. We have been receiving Nonpareils for 2 weeks. So far Nonpareil yields are coming in below expectations and below the NASS estimate. In our area we see some orchards even with last year, off 15%, off 30%, etc. We are also hearing inconsistent reports from the southern part of the state of yields slightly up, even with last year, and off 20%. Kernel sizing started off very small but is improving, averaging 27/30, and still may end up in-line with NASS' forecast. Sizing within a given orchard is also more varied than last season and may have to do with the very long bloom period. The variance in yields and kernel sizing is in-explainable in many cases as often the low yields or small kernels are from orchards that had a good water supply.
During the past four weeks pricing has firmed slightly on all varieties.
July was expected to be a light shipping month and today's report does not appear to have impacted the market. The outlook for August shipments is unclear. With an early Diwali in India and an early California harvest, one would expect strong in-shell shipments to India.
Russian President Vladamir Putin issued a one-year prohibition of imports of ag products (including almonds) from the U.S., EU, Canada, Australia, and Norway.
The disappointing yields to-date are a considerable bullish factor. It is possible Nonpareil yields in later harvested parts of the state could turn out better than our area, though this variety looked to be the weak area of the crop state-wide going back to the bloom and before. We remain optimistic that pollinator yields could come in better than last year. In some years NASS made an accurate crop estimate but was very inaccurate on the make-up of the crop between Nonpareils and pollinators.
Posted here is the July 2014 Position Report
The next position report is due for release Thursday September 11
Please feel free to call or email us with any questions or feedback.