Nuts

Market Insights


November 13, 2023

Almond

The almond harvest is not usually described as a “Fall Harvest,” but that has been the case this year. The cooler temperatures, along with rain, prolonged the harvest all the way to last week. As a result, the harvest has faced challenges, with some experiencing high moisture levels, insect damage, and lower-than-anticipated yields. Through October, crop receipts are -19.5% behind this time last year, mainly due to the lateness of the crop, as just described. With 1.33 billion pounds received to date versus 1.66 billion pounds received at this time last year, only time will tell if the number improves, to bear out the USDA’s estimate of 2.6 billion pounds. Most are betting on the under at this point.

With that said, the Almond Board of CA released the October Position Report last Friday, November 10, 2023. While crop receipts are late, shipments for October were a robust 247 million pounds, making it the third-strongest October in almond history. This is +15.3% over last October and brings total shipments year to date to +7.25% ahead of last year at this time. Despite the late crop, the industry had a carry-out that served it well this year. However, with that all but gone, we will have to lean on the new crop to continue to demonstrate these types of numbers in the future.

Exports drove October results as 190 million pounds were shipped, a +27.7% increase over last October, putting export shipments year to date +10.5% ahead of last year. Meanwhile, domestic sales fell by -13% to 57 million pounds versus 65.6 million pounds shipped last October, bringing domestic shipments flat to last year at this time.

October YTD % Change 2023 Crop vs 2022 Crop

New sales for October remained strong with 251 million pounds sold versus 244 million sold in October of last year, a 3% increase. While new crop offers remain for close-by shipments, buyers are also willing and content to purchase hand-to-mouth. This has been more than enough to keep packers busy filling orders through the holiday season.

Total commitments for the new crop are currently 677.5 million pounds, just off -2.5% from last year’s 694.8 million. Yet, export commitments are trending up +11.2%, 405.7 million pounds versus last year's 364.8 million. Meanwhile, domestic commitments are well off -17.65%, a mere 271.7 million pounds versus 329.9 million pounds a year ago. 

As of the end of October, uncommitted inventory was 753.3 million pounds, down -33.6% versus 1.13 million lbs. last year. As receipts continue to arrive, this will soon shift up.

Sales Oct - 2023 Oct - 2022 % Change
Dom 68,519,442 57,094,052 20%
Export 182,227,516 186,383,441 -2%
Total 250,746,958 243,447,493 3%

Commitments Oct - 2023 Oct - 2022 % Change
Dom 271,730,435 329,960,793 -18%
Export 405,741,890 364,866,412 11%
Total 677,472,325 694,827,205 -2%

Upcoming Industry Milestones

  • Harvest Period: Harvest for all practical purposes has concluded and the hullers/shellers will be working overtime if they are to finish by the end of December.
  • Position Report: December 12, 2023

Almond Market Insights - Week 45 Update

Bullish Trends

  • New sales for October were very strong, with 251 million pounds added, which represents a 3% increase YoY. This should translate into continued strong shipments through the first quarter of 2024.
  • With crop receipts down the market has continued to firm as specific sizes and varieties are currently harder to find.
  • While the market has firmed in the last few weeks, pricing remains attractive for buyers, and the combination of this firmness along with strong shipments signals confidence in the almond market.

Bearish Trends

  • Domestic consumption appears to be questionable as market conditions may have changed consumer purchasing patterns. This is the largest market for almonds and it will be critical in the months ahead to reverse the negative trend.
  • Crop receipts are increasing as the industry went from -36% behind last month to -19% this month, and it will continue to catch up as huller/shellers move through the crop. It is still early to call the crop off by 200 million pounds as it is, in fact, a late crop.  
  • While offers may be hard to find, overall inquiries have been quiet and there has not been a great deal of demand that would indicate the industry can sell all they want when they want. The holiday selling season is all but behind us, and all eyes will be on the February bloom now.
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