December 15, 2023
December weather in California has been dry so far, while the Pacific Northwest has been receiving all the rain. Hopefully, the weather pattern will shift next week, and we will start getting more moisture. It hasn’t been completely dry, but the last two winters would have resulted in significant atmospheric rivers by now. The extended forecast calls for rain early next week.
With 1.87 billion pounds received to date versus 2.15 billion pounds received at this time last year, the crop remains behind. As a result, growers are unwilling to offer too much at present, waiting for more information before committing beyond the first quarter. Most are content to wait for the crop receipts to complete and look to the February bloom for insight into next year’s crop.
The Almond Board of California released the "November Position Report" this week. Shipments were strong with 238 million pounds, marking the second-strongest November for shipments in almond history. This is +16.6% over last November’s 204 million pounds and brings total shipments year-to-date to +9.55% ahead of last year at this time.
Exports continue to drive shipments with 178 million pounds shipped in November, a +24.7% increase over last November. This puts export shipments year-to-date +13.94% ahead of last year. Meanwhile, domestic shipments fell by -2.0% to 60.4 million pounds versus 61.6 million pounds shipped last November. Domestic shipments are trailing slightly, -1.09% from last year at this time.
New sales for November reached 208 million pounds, a +4% increase over last November’s 200.6 million sold. While new crop offers remain available for close-by shipments through the first quarter of 2024, buyers are also willing and content to follow suit.
Total commitments for the new crop are currently 647.4 million pounds, a decrease of -6.3% from last year’s 691.2 million. Export commitments are flat (-0.76%) at 378 million pounds compared to last year’s 381 million. Meanwhile, domestic commitments are significantly lower at -13.2%, with 269.4 million pounds versus 310 million pounds a year ago.
As of the end of November, uncommitted inventory was 1.067 billion pounds, down -24.7% versus 1.42 billion pounds last year. A possible indicator that the crop may be smaller than last year. With only a few weeks remaining of huller/sheller activity, it is hard to imagine it catching up at this point.
Upcoming Industry Milestones
- Position Report: January 11, 2024
Almond Market Insights - Week 50 Update
- New sales for November continued trending upward with 208 million pounds versus 201 million a year ago. This should translate to strong shipments through the first quarter of 2024.
- With crop receipts down and higher serious damage than in previous years, this may lead to a much lower carry-out next year. This will bring supply back into balance with demand sooner than expected.
- Shipments remain ahead of last year and, from a global perspective, demand is consistently strong as consumption continues to trend positively. Market firmness should remain in place for the foreseeable future.
- Domestic consumption continues to be in question as consumer purchasing patterns may be affected by inflation and lack of retail promotions. This is the largest market for almonds and is critical to lead the trend forward.
- With offers hard to find for certain sizes, overall inquiries have been quiet as well. There has not been a great deal of demand that would indicate the industry can sell all they want when they want.
- Many packers are reporting limited to no availability of small sizes across most varieties. Buyers will need to get creative and adjust their specs accordingly if they cannot get their hands on these sought after sizes.