The 2023/24 pistachio crop is nearing the end of its harvest, and it’s increasingly likely that it will set a new record. The INC’s May forecast had initially predicted a 1.1 billion pound crop, but crop receipt trends are now pointing to a crop size of 1.5 billion pounds. This would represent a significant 70% increase over last year’s crop and mark the largest pistachio crop in history. The total crop receipts to date stand at 1.2 billion pounds, already 35% higher than the final 2022 crop size of 884.1 million pounds. The larger than expected crop size has led to a 15-year low in pricing, a trend that may continue as future crops increase in size.
Shipments for the month of September totaled 61.1 million pounds, a 7.3% decrease compared to the same time last year. Domestic shipments were 20 million pounds, down 4.4% and exports were 41 million pounds, down 8.6%. The year-over-year lower performance can be attributed to the delayed crop, which was approximately two weeks behind schedule. Furthermore, a substantially lower carry-in of 163.8 million pounds(-54% versus last year), resulted in reduced inventory in circulation, impacting the shipment trends.
Initial offering prices came as a shock to many, as opening pricing was lower than expected. This prompted buyers to secure their positions and handlers to reach comfortable initial sold positions. As a result, prices have firmed up 10 cents since opening levels. However, if the projected 1.5 billion crop materializes and is not met with significantly higher demand, there is potential for prices to soften in the back half of this crop year.
- Carry-in inventory at lowest in years (-54% versus last year).
- Low opening price levels resulted in large sales for the industry.
- Heavy shipments expected in coming months reflecting healthy demand.
- New crop is expected to reach record high of 1.5 billion pounds.
- Competition from Iran in overseas markets.
- Lower priced nut substitutes.