Almond Market Update – February 2021
The Almond Board of California released the January 2021 position report
Shipments: 194.3 million lbs. vs. 220.5 million in 2020 – -11.9% for the month & +16.2% YTD
U.S. -17.4% (+5.9% YTD)
Exports -9.2% (+20.4% YTD)
Western Europe -13% (+8% YTD)
India -21% (+60% YTD)
Middle East / Africa +16% (-2% YTD)
China / Hong Kong/ Vietnam -31% (+57% YTD)
Japan -9% (-14% YTD)
South Korea -9% (+30% YTD)
Canada -38% (-10% YTD)
Central / Eastern Europe +44% (+31% YTD)
Latin America / Caribbean -3% (+99% YTD)
Crop receipts of 3.025 billion lbs. are up 20.6% from a year ago. These seem to be tracking toward the 3.07 to 3.1 billion lb. range.
Concerns about Water Supply continue, with reservoir and snow pack levels low, though the strong storms a few weeks ago eased concerns a bit. Short-term, for the 2021 crop, it will likely mean more expensive water and not really affect 2021 crop supply.
Bud Sets are reported as lighter in many orchards following what was the highest yield per acre in history (using Land IQ’s more accurate bearing acreage). A 2016 UC Study showed how critical the bud set is to yield per acre, which is also demonstrated by the double digit declines in yield/acre following the record yields seen in 2008 and 2011. Further reading Yield in almond is related more to the abundance of flowers than the relative number of flowers that set fruit
Bloom is just getting underway so stay tuned.
January Shipments – the expectations for these figures grew increasingly pessimistic in recent weeks. Originally the industry thought we were on track for another solid record of about 250 million lbs. The issues at the port grew increasingly worse starting around the third week January. These final figures of 194 are on the low end of the pessimistic expectations. The decline in domestic shipments was surprising. Often there are month to month changes domestically that are hard to explain.
January Sales were 206 million lbs. vs. 210 million lbs. last January.
Committed (Unshipped) stood at 932 million lbs. – up 56% from last year’s 599 million lbs.
Sold / Shipped Combined reached 2.41 billion lbs. vs. 1.87 Billion a year ago, up 29%. These figures remain very positive.
Crop Receipts were in-line with recent expectations.
The Industry Sold Position reached 69% of total supply vs. 66.4% a year ago. This is based on a gross crop of 3.075 Billion lbs.
Prices have declined the past couple weeks with concerns about the position report, largely due to concerns about the inability ship export containers (further info in article below). We are regularly seeing some containers rolled several times with delays of 3 weeks not uncommon. On one positive note, this is leading to heavier consumption of overseas spot goods, which hopefully will be enough to satisfy short term demand, so it’s not “lost” entirely. With prices down down again, the question becomes how much of the low ship figure was already built into pricing, and how soon does some of the attention shift to 2021 crop. With the wild card, or monkey wrench, of port congestion, the market outlook is unclear.
Paul Ewing Dennis Soares
Shipping carriers rejected tons of U.S. agricultural exports, opting to send empty containers to China
February Position Report – Thursday March 11, 2021