Almond Market Review – January 2019
The Almond Board of California released the December position report
Shipments were 199.6 million lbs. vs. 204.6 million lbs. in 2018 – down 2.4%
U.S. up 0.8% (up 2.4% YTD)
Exports down 3.5% (down 5.2% YTD)
Western Europe -9% (-6% YTD) possibly due to a combination of the larger Spanish crop and lower stocks kept in the region.
China/HK/Vietnam -47% (-7% YTD) Seasonal shipments left earlier, thus the big Nov and light Dec. The region certainly has outperformed expectations thus far, though post Chinese New Year demand is unknown.
India -0.5% (-7% YTD) is buying more steadily this year and seems to need coverage.
Middle East / Africa +90% (-5% YTD) loves an “up market” and are vastly outperforming expectations, which were as low as down 50% for the season.
Japan -19% (-3% YTD) Canada +4% (+11% YTD)
South Korea -12% (+4% YTD) Central/Eastern Europe +5% (-7% YTD)
2018 CROP…lighter than estimated
Crop receipts point toward a crop similar to 2017. YTD receipts are 2.202 billion lbs. vs. 2.207 a year ago, and last year’s crop finished at 2.26 billion lbs.
|Crop Receipt Analysis for Major Varieties (YTD)|
|Butte & Padre||313,362,969||366,291,644||-14%||Declining acreage, light crop|
|Independence||105,322,428||55,308,345||+90%||Increasing acreage, good crop|
|Monterey||388,300,609||354,115,086||+10%||Normal crop after light ’17|
|Nonpareil||863,414,365||900,650,054||-4%||Increasing acreage, light crop|
December shipments were in the range of expectations although on the lower end.
December sales of 180 million lbs. are a new record, up from 166 million lbs. a year ago and 54% above the 4-year average.
Committed/Shipped are 1.576 Billion lbs., approximately 61% of total supply or 71% of the projected marketable crop, assuming a crop of 2.26 billion lbs.
2018 CROP expectations were a NASS Subjective estimate of 2.30, Objective Estimate of 2.45, and now we are expecting about 200 million lbs. less. A very similar crop to last season despite increased acreage, demonstrating the impact of the frost. This lighter crop is partly why the sold percentage is relatively high now.
Total Supply for this crop year, assuming the same crop receipts as last year, is actually down 1.5% (40 million lbs.) due to the reduced carry-in coming into this season. Pollinators Butte/Padre/Fritz combined are down 9% and made up the least part of the carry-in, thus pollinator pricing has moved up the most. Independence Inshell is selling surprisingly well in India, helping move the additional volume of this variety.
Buying activity should remain strong for the coming weeks and another tight transition to the 2019 crop seems likely. By the next position report, bloom talk should get underway.
Paul Ewing Dennis Soares
Further info: December 2018 Position Report
Upcoming news: January Position Report – February 12, 2019