Almond Market Report

March 15, 2024

Market Update:

The Almond Board of California released the "February Position Report" this week on Tuesday, March 12th. This is the seventh report for the 2023 crop year. Key highlights and takeaways are below: 


Receipts in February were 18.21 million pounds, down 62% from last February’s receipts of 47.89 million pounds. We are now finally seeing crop receipts tail off as the receiving period has ended for most handlers. If crop receipts match last year’s trend from this point forward, then the 2023 crop will likely end up at 2.458 billion pounds. 



Total shipments for the month were 221.13 million pounds, coming in below industry expectations of 240 million pounds. This is the third best February on record, but it is still down 10% versus the record of 245.74 million pounds set last year. Total shipments for the year now stand at 1.60 billion pounds, up 5.57% from last year. Shipments from this point onward averaged 209 million pounds last year. Overall, this is an obtainable number for the industry to ensure shipments remain up year-over-year. March of last year set a record of 264 million pounds shipped and the industry will have a hard time competing with this shipment number next month. 

Domestic shipments were 58.79 million pounds, up 2.3% versus last year’s 57.46 million pounds. Domestic shipments remain slightly lower versus last year’s crop - down .18% year-over-year. Overall, the domestic market continues to be near flat versus last year and we do not expect this trend to change for the remainder of the 2023 crop year. 

Export shipments were 162.34 million pounds, which is 13.8% down versus last year’s 188.28 million pounds. Export shipments had their first down month since the first position report of the year in August. Europe was the only major export region up for the month which ended up at 14%. This trend is likely to continue as largely what remains unsold in the U.S. will be SSR grades. Inshell and high quality extra/supreme grade items will likely be in lower supply, which will likely lead to lower shipments in ME and India going forward. This time of the year is a slower shipping period for those regions historically. 


Sales & Commitments:

Total sales for the month were 214.61 million pounds, up 13% versus last year’s sales of 190.27 million pounds. This number was better than expected as California took some time off of aggressively selling during the early bloom period. Overall, this indicated demand is still active even at the high end of price levels we saw in early-to-mid February. Now that bloom is over, we expect California will continue to sell aggressively for nearby periods. Additionally, willingness to sell for the farther out months of the crop year could also lead to an increase in the sales number for future reports.  



Commitments for the 2023 crop year stand at 630.90 million pounds, which is down 20% versus the 784.69 million pounds from last year. Commitments for the 2023 crop year have continued to stay relatively consistent as California's sales strategy has remained to offer for only nearby shipment months. We will likely only see this commitment number break out of the 621-677 million pounds range once California starts to sell for further out periods. 

Uncommitted inventory currently sits at 928.82 million pounds, down 7.78% versus last year’s 1.007 billion pounds. Uncommitted inventory remains down compared to last year, even with commitments behind last year’s pace. This is due to the good shipment numbers so far this crop year, along with crop receipts finally starting slow down. 


In a Nutshell:

This February Position Report came with some positives and negatives, but overall continues with the trend of neutral to positive reports for the 2023 crop year.

Shipments (while being the star of the show for the first half of the crop year) slipped slightly versus the record numbers of the previous year. The major positives in the report were sales exceeding expectations, along with a lower crop receipt number that indicates we are quickly nearing a final crop size number for the 2023 crop. 

With the market now entering the post bloom period, it is essential that California does not lose the momentum it built up in the first half of the crop year. With an above average bloom, California is once again continuing to aggressively sell and we do not see this sentiment changing in the near term. Over the next few months, it is imperative that California takes advantage of all demand to create the best possible carry-out scenario for the industry.

Upcoming Industry Milestones:

  • Position Report: April 11, 2024
  • Subjective Estimate: May 7, 2024
  • Objective Estimate: July 3, 2024
  • Nursery Report: April 25, 2024
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