Almond Market Report

March 8, 2024

Market & Crop Update:

March weather came in with a roar. As forecasted over the weekend, the Sierras saw as much as 10 to 12 feet of fresh snowfall in the highest elevations (10,000 feet) and 3 feet of snow down at the lower elevations (3,000 feet). This has brought us a long way in a short time. In just four days, California's snowpack has gone from 70% of normal to 102% of normal for this date! That’s a March Miracle. Meanwhile, the bloom had all but concluded just in time for last week’s storm. Generally speaking, the bloom has been considered a good one, especially compared to last year, when we saw this kind of weather right at the start of the bloom. Expectations are for the crop to bounce back and it may produce more than seen in a few years. Only time will tell and California may still have unexpected weather before all the nutlets are set.      

January shipments set a record for the month at 235.92 million pounds, up 2.7%. Crop receipts also rose by 163 million pounds with 2.39 billion pounds now received, yet down 3.39% from a year ago and indicates a crop size slightly below 2.5 billion pounds. Nevertheless, it will be off from last year’s 2.58 billion pounds and the 2.6 billion pound crop it had been estimated to be. This will be the third crop year in a row of declining almond production in California. However, with the sentiment of a good bloom, we should start to see the market become more aggressive in selling certain sizes, grades, and varieties in the days and weeks ahead.  

To date, the industry has shipped 1.38 billion pounds and stands ahead of last year’s shipments +8.58% year-to-date. Domestic shipments in January 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 was the largest shipment month for the domestic market thus far during the 23/24 crop year. The industry will work to build on this for the second half of the crop year, especially now that we know we had a good bloom. Export shipments remain the shining star with 173.03 million pounds, which is 6.1% up versus last year’s 163.16 million pounds. This shipment number was a record for January. Export shipments continue to outpace the last crop year and now sit at 12.24% up year-to-date. 

Meanwhile, sales & commitments reflect a market taking a measured approach up until now. 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 2 months. Overall, this has helped keep shipment numbers higher than the previous crop year. Now that bloom has concluded, we will most likely see this pace increase even more.  

Upcoming Industry Milestones:

  • Position Report: March 12, 2024
  • Subjective Estimate: May 7, 2024
  • Objective Estimate: July 3, 2024

Almond Market Trends - Week 10:

Bullish Trends:

  • Shipments have continued to be strong through January and are expected to once again be strong in February. 
  • Export shipments remain the bright spot as the industry has shipped over a billion pounds and is ahead of last year’s shipments by 12.24%.
  • The market remains committed to pricing almonds aggressively to encourage sales. 

Bearish Trends:

  • With a good bloom now all but complete and plenty of snowpack heading into the spring and summer, expectations for a larger crop in 2024 are apparent. 
  • We have seen the market prices drop this week making some buyers cautious in locking in their remaining needs.
  • With commitments behind last year, the industry will need to continue sell almonds . 
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