Almond Market Update – December 2022
The Almond Board of California released the November 2022 position report
Shipments were 204.3 million lbs. vs. 220.9 M in 2021 – down 7.5% for the month and down 4.3% YTD
U.S. -5.2% (-6.3% YTD)
Exports -8.5% (-3.4% YTD)
Western Europe -19% (-4% YTD)
India +27% (-17% YTD)
Middle East / Africa +22% (+49%)
China / Hong Kong/ Vietnam -51% (-23% YTD)
Japan -6% (-18% YTD)
South Korea -35% (-43% YTD)
Canada -2% (-6% YTD)
Central / Eastern Europe -40% (+27% YTD)
Latin America / Caribbean -54% (-18% YTD)
November Shipments – While some hoped for a pleasant surprise, these seem in-line with the range of industry expectations.
November Sales were 201 million lbs. vs. 226 million lbs. in November 2021.
Committed (Unshipped) stood at 691.2 million lbs. – down 8.2% from a year ago.
Sold / Shipped Combined was 1.53 billion lbs. – down 6% from a year ago.
The Industry Sold Position was 45% of total supply – down slightly from 47% a year ago.
Buying & selling interest was steady during November. Sellers have generally been more resistant to selling far out positions, which likely hurt sales in recent months.
Winter Weather is finally here with some significant rain and snowstorms recently. It’s very early in the game, but so far snowpack is way ahead of normal.
Almond Acreage in California decreased for the first time in more than a quarter century, according to a recent report from the Almond Board of California & Land IQ. Total Standing acreage was estimated at 1.64 million acres as of August 31 vs. 1.66 million acres a year prior. While bearing acres increased slightly to 1.34 million from 1.31 million acres, it includes 30,000 acres that are either classified as stressed or abandoned. Non-bearing acreage decreased from 353,000 acres to 294,000 acres. With the current very low prices, and tight water regulations, we anticipate this trend continuing for the near term and expect increased removals this winter.
Crop Receipts of 2.15 Billion Lbs. are down 7% from a year ago. Hulling & Shelling is finishing much sooner than last season so we anticipate the crop is off more than the 7%. Compared to recent history, a very high percentage of the crop should be received in December and be reflected in the next position report.
US Inflation remains high but is trending in the right direction:
The US Dollar remains well off the peaks of mid fall. This dip has brought in some additional buying in recent weeks.
Retailers in Established Markets – will they continue to keep pricing high? Will there be promotions with these lower prices? January is when some expect changes to happen, but it’s very unclear. We cannot recall a time with a higher gap between the grower price and the retail price of almonds. There are exceptions in the U.S. like Costco and Sam’s Club who continue to provide good value for consumers.
Almond pricing declining for essentially 15 months in a row (depending on the item) is very rare. Eventually we will hit or will have hit (looking back), a bottom, and sales should pick up followed by improved shipments.
In health news, a new study has come out regarding tree nut consumption and the effect on cognitive function and gut health. https://www.rpacalmonds.com/healthnews/nutscognitiveandgutbacteria/
Paul Ewing Dennis Soares
December Position Report – Thursday January 12, 2023