Almond Market Update – June 2019
The Almond Board of California released the May position report
Shipments were 178.7 million lbs. vs. 158.3 million lbs. in 2018 – an increase of 13% and a new record.
U.S. (up 1.4% YTD) was flat
Exports (down 1.1% YTD) were up 22%
Western Europe +8% (-4% YTD) A continued recovery in shipments to the region. They have been active buyers recently.
China/HK/Vietnam +58% (-22% YTD) Shipments from Australia continue to be strong, but they have been more active in California recently as well (for both crop years).
India +80% (+12% YTD) Diwali is early. Australia has less available for India due to sales to China. California encouraged earlier shipments as well, as many wanted to be done shipping sooner than later.
Middle East / Africa +32 (+8% YTD) This is impressive considering how strong they already have been so far.
NASS was forecasting 2019 bearing acreage at 1,17 million acres, an increase of 7.3%. However, a recent release of Land IQ Satellite Data show estimated acreage of 1.14 million acres, roughly 30,000 acres lower. They estimated removals of approximately 37,000 acres and new bearing acres of approximately 102,000.
Weather during May was considerably mild, and one of the wettest in history. This was good for 2019 crop development, 2020 crop bud development, but also further delayed crop maturity.
Shipments were on the high end of industry expectations.
May sales of 108 million lbs. are up 42% from last May’s 76.
Committed/Unshipped are 433 million lbs. vs. 374 a year ago, up 16%.
Committed/Shipped surpassed 2.3 Billion lbs., approximately 89% of total supply compared with 86% a year ago. This figure was behind all season until just a month ago, and is now 64 million lbs. ahead.
Uncommitted inventory is 274 million lbs. vs. 369 million lbs., down 26%.
New (2019) crop sales are 133 million lbs. vs. 81 million lbs. at the same time a year ago, up 65%
The strong May sales and very light unsold inventory, pushed pricing higher in recent weeks.
The light inventory can be felt and current crop seems likely to remain firm. The tight availability, and reduced acreage forecast, also bring some firmness to the new crop market. NASS’ objective estimate is highly anticipated to give more insights into the direction for the 2019 season. After the strong finish to this season, the industry seems to think we need a significantly larger crop. Most seem to think the industry needs a crop in the 2.5 to 2.6 billion lb. range to grow demand and have smoother transitions.
Health News – Dr. Oz recently spoke at the INC. He said he considered “nuts America’s best kept secret.” Dr. Oz pointed out the great health benefits and how we need to get the word out more than we’re doing. Blood Pressure is what he considers one of the top areas for people to improve on, and eating nuts such as almonds can help with this. The Almond Board continues to work on numerous health studies.
Paul Ewing Dennis Soares
Further info: May 2019 Position Report
Upcoming news: NASS Objective Crop Estimate – July 3
June Position Report – July 12