Almond Market Update – October 2023
The Almond Board of California released the September 2023 position report:
Shipments were 217.7 million lbs. vs. 188.4 million lbs. in 2022 – UP 15.5% – UP 3.1% YTD
U.S. +21.5% (+6% YTD)
Exports +13.3% (+2% YTD)
Western Europe +13% (+9% YTD)
India +54% (+32% YTD)
Middle East / Africa +2% (-17% YTD)
China / Hong Kong/ Vietnam -34% (-32% YTD)
Japan +46% (+38% YTD)
South Korea +50% (+36% YTD)
Canada +13% (+8% YTD)
Central / Eastern Europe -19% (-26% YTD)
Latin America / Caribbean +42% (+27% YTD)
September Shipments – The figure is again in-line with industry expectations.
September Sales were 270 million lbs. vs. 240 million lbs. in September 2022 – UP 12.5%. This was slightly unexpected and could be bullish news.
Committed (Unshipped) stood at 674 million lbs. vs. last year’s 666 million lbs.
Sold / Shipped Combined was 1.1 billion lbs. vs. 1.08 billion lbs. a year ago – up 2%
The Industry Sold Position was 34% of total supply – vs 32% a year ago. This is assuming a 2.6B crop, if the crop is shorter, then the sold percentage would be higher.
The 2023 CROP
Insect damage is slightly improved from a month ago at 3.99%, though still running almost double last season’s amount. Newer varieties are showing lower damage with Independence at 2.7% and Shasta at 1.8%. Later varieties are running higher with Monterey at 5.3% so far.
Harvest remains very late. Continued rain events and cool weather slowed drying in the fields. We are receiving Nonpareil to the huller/sheller in October for the first time in history.
Yields are highly varied by region. We continue seeing some of the best yields on self-compatible varieties. Yields for 6th leaf and up, for completed fields out of PAPC, are:
Down 13% Overall
We are not saying the overall crop is down this much. The state-wide crop will also get a boost from the Sacramento Valley which is up from last year’s major frost year. The east side from Madera up to Escalon seem to generally some of the worse areas. Reports out of Kern County are mixed.
Buying Activity / Outlook
Pricing firmed slightly throughout much of September.
Carry in is more out of the picture than it was a year ago. Although the carry in was only a bit smaller, buyers came into the new season less stocked up, allowing sellers to move the carry in faster.
Commitments point to solid October shipments, and with total supply expected to be down from a year ago, and the delayed harvest, bins are not so much an issue as a year ago (there is less pressure by processors to sell just to empty out bins and make room) Still, sellers will want to keep shipments up and many still have plenty of room to go to fill up November.
Sales at a good pace remain necessary for continued good shipments and thus continued optimistic market conditions. As buyers and sellers look to fill up more of November and December, the chance for continued good shipments seems probable.
Paul Ewing Dennis Soares
October Position Report – Friday November 10, 2023