Almond Market Report

February 16, 2024

Market & Crop Update:

With the Almond Bloom starting, we continue to have some unsettled weather with rain up and down the valley here in California. As we look ahead, more rain is expected this weekend and into early next week. Fortunately, to date, it has not been anything like last year when it seemed if it wasn’t raining, then it was cold and windy. Many thought we would barely even have a crop, yet we will likely reach over 2.4 billion pounds this year. In between our current storms, we have had days reaching the low 60’s, which is warm enough to encourage bee flight. The Sierra snow-pack stands at 89% to normal, which is not bad considering where we were at just two weeks ago. However, the next couple of weeks will really tell the story for bloom and if March will warm up with no threat of a freeze.   

Last Friday, the "January Position Report" was released by the Almond Board of California. Crop receipts rose by 99 million pounds with 2.39 billion pounds now received, down 3.39% from last year. Expectations now suggest that the crop will likely surpass 2.4 billion pounds. This would be off from the 2.58 billion pounds received last year and the third year in a row of declining almond production in California.

Shipments in January set a record for the month at 235.92 million pounds. To date, the industry has shipped 1.38 billion pounds and stands ahead of last year’s shipments year to date +8.58%.  

Domestic shipments were 62.89 million pounds, down 5.4% versus last year’s 66.50 million pounds. Domestic shipments remain slightly down versus last year’s crop, being down .57% year-over-year. However, January has been the largest shipment number for the domestic market so far during the 23/24 crop year. The industry will work to build on this for the second half of the crop year.

Export shipments were 173.03 million pounds, which is 6.1% up versus last year’s 163.16 million pounds. This shipment number was a record for the month of January. Export shipments continue to outpace the last crop year and now sits at 12.24% up year-to-date. 

Meanwhile, sales & commitments reflect a market taking a measured approach. Total sales for the month were 235.91 million pounds, up 14% versus last year’s sales of 207.64 million pounds. The California Almond Industry has continued to sell even as prices have moved upward over the last two months. Overall, this has helped keep shipment numbers higher than the previous crop year. Even with bloom quickly approaching. the almond industry has continued to sell and we do not see this sales number dropping off in the coming months.

Commitments for the new crop year stand at 637.42 million pounds, which is down 24.1% versus the 840.17 million pounds from last year. Commitments for the 2023 crop year have stayed relatively consistent as California continues to only offer for nearby shipment months. We have seen them as low as 621 million pounds and as high as 677 million pounds. Even with the consistency of high sales over the crop year, we don’t expect commitments to improve from this range due to California's selling strategy.

Uncommitted inventory currently sits at 1.126 billion pounds, down 2.2% versus last year’s 1.151 billion pounds. Uncommitted inventory remains slightly down to last year, while buyers and sellers have 200 million pounds less bought/sold versus this time last year.  

Upcoming Industry Milestones

  • Position Report: March 12, 2024

Almond Market Trends - Week 07:

Bullish Trends:

  • Strong shipments continue as we come up to bloom and as a result, the market continues to firm. The industry remains ahead of last year by 8.5%. 
  • Export shipments remain the bright spot as the industry has shipped over a billion pounds and is ahead of last year by 12.24%.
  • With crop yields down three consecutive years, this has led to pricing pressure as demand is now more in line with the current supply.  

Bearish Trends:

  • Receipts continue to come in and has actually exceeded many expectations. While it may fall short of last year’s crop, it could end up higher than once believed.   
  • Weather is lining up to be good for bloom despite rains. Temperatures in between the rain is well above 55 degree's, which will allow for bee flight once bloom presents itself.
  • Shipping issues are increasing due to the unrest in the Middle East and are escalating with delays in transit times and rising costs. This has also spread to increased energy costs. 
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