Nuts

Market Insights


April 2023

Walnuts

The CWB reported crop receipts for the 2022 crop year remains unchanged at 747,870 tons. This number has historically been adjusted up by end June and we expect the final crop number to be closer to 760,000 tons. Adding in the record 2021 crop carry out, this would give us a total supply of ~895,000 tons for the 2022 crop year. This is a record total supply for the CA Walnut Industry and 8% larger than the 827,824 tons of total supply last year.

Shipments in March continued the upward trend seen previously in January and February (+2.4% vs last year), bringing the YTD shipments to 463,064 (+3% vs last year). While the trend is positive, we are still falling short relative to the total supply needing to be sold. Unshipped inventory is 14.6% higher than last year. The USDA Section 32 purchase should help raise
shipments to desired levels, but we will still need a big push in the coming months to lower the carryout.

Commitments in March are down 23% vs last year and new sales FTM were down 49% vs last March. The sold percentage of total supply stands at 70.2%, down 9.9% vs last March’s sold
percentage of 80.1% on total supply. We expect commitments and new sales to pick up significantly in the next report to reflect the USDA Section 32 purchase of 57 million lbs.

Our carryout projection has been updated to 151,537 tons (11.3% higher vs last year). The USDA purchase should help ease some of the uncertainty surrounding the unsold combo product, which could spur sidelined buyers to rush into the market to secure their positions. Should this be the case, it is possible the carryout can be moved even lower to more manageable levels.

Bullish Trends

  • The USDA recently closed a very large bid, helping to ease the supply concerns
  • At low prices, shipments are improving. Shipments are now up 3% YoY
  • Walnuts remain the best value when compared to competing nuts

Bearish Trends

  • CA has a record total supply this year
  • Sold percentage of total supply is 9.9% lower than this time last year
  • Other origins continue to increase in production as well, with Chile currently harvesting a larger 2023 crop
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