Almond Market Review – February 2019
The Almond Board of California released the January position report
Shipments were 209.6 million lbs. vs. 193.5 million lbs. in 2018 – up 8.3%
U.S. (up 3.5% YTD) and Exports (down 3% YTD) were both up over 8% for the month and both recording breaking figures.
Western Europe -12% (-7% YTD) continues buying hand to mouth. EU buyers have shown increased interest for STD5 lately.
China/HK/Vietnam -54% (-11% YTD) took product further ahead of Chinese New Year this season.
India +49% (-1% YTD) made up some lost ground from earlier. California handlers have positive expectations for India going forward.
Middle East / Africa +73% (+7% YTD) continues to perform very well with 3 strong months in a row. Their presence in the market has been constantly felt since October.
Japan +16% (+1% YTD) South Korea +31% (+9% YTD)
Central/Eastern Europe +34% (-1% YTD) Canada +9% (+2% YTD)
2018 CROP…receipts reach 2.251 billion lbs., up 0.40% vs. a year ago.
The Bud Set looks great in most of the state.
Bloom was slow to advance with the very cold weather but seems to be moving quicker the past 1-2 days. Going into bloom, the chill hours and rain fall were good. Now growers just hope we get some breaks from the cold wet weather.
January shipments were on the high end of expectations.
January sales of 179.6 million lbs. are up slightly from a year ago and the best January since ’14.
Committed/Shipped are 1.775 Billion lbs., approximately 68% of total supply or 79% of the projected marketable crop, assuming a crop of 2.27 billion lbs.
Total ’18 crop year supply is still likely down due to the lower carry-in this season. Sales were very weak during Feb onward last season, meanwhile this year we are behind on sales and such a drop off is unlikely. During May-July 2018, shipments were very weak. These factors of lower total supply, and weak sales/shipments in the late part of last season, point toward potential for a squeeze late in this season. The 2019 crop expectations could influence just how big of a squeeze the market gets. Buyers of low quality Nonpareil should be in the best position (relatively) whereas availability of high quality NP kernels and NP inshell are less certain for the late part of the season. Buyers needing very specific counts and varieties of pollinators would be prudent to cover the rest of their ’18 needs soon. This should continue to be an eventful season.
Paul Ewing Dennis Soares
Further info: January 2019 Position Report
Upcoming news: February Position Report – March 12, 2019