March 2022 Almond Position Report Summary
March Shipments: 244 vs 266 (-8.1%)
Domestic – 71.8 vs 71.2 (+.8%)
Export – 173.14 vs 195.39 (-11.4%)
YTD Shipments: 1,683.15 vs 1,978.92 (-14.95%)
Committed Shipments: 832 vs 811 (+2.55%)
Uncommitted Inventory: 936 vs 691 (+35.46%)
New Sales: 219 vs 191 (+14.65%)
Percent Sold (Total Marketable): 75% vs 80%
Shipments and sales for the month of March beat expectations and were a step in the right direction. January to March 2022 sales outpaced last year by 56 million pounds. Shipments on the other hand had big shoes to fill with last year’s impressive months and fell short by 74 million pounds but showed signs of loosening giving hope shippers might be able to shake loose some of the pending carryover. Based on the reported commitments and new sales the coming months could help California’s position on the carryout. On the flip side April has thus far had its fair share of challenges as cancellations and equipment shortages are plaguing the industry. Upcoming union labour discussion at California ports could also hamper shippers from reducing the carryout. Despite the many efforts to ship, shippers remain at the mercy of steamship lines.
The pending carryover poses concerns for cash flow, storage capacity, momentum on new crop sales, and leaves some export markets thin on available to sell inventories. Limited stocks in some export markets and attractive pricing have brought buyers back more consistently as shown in sales figures since January but doesn’t discount the fact that major hurdles still lie ahead.
Looming economic and political factors could overshadow today’s low prices and positive gains posted in Q1. Increasing supply chain costs from farm to end consumer could still be pending the true impacts on consumption. Sales forecasts are more or less unknown, leaving buyers in a difficult balancing position all the while CA looks to lessen the impact on the carryout. Adding to the mix is the early new crop estimates. Yesterday’s estimation of 2.9 billion pounds seems more or less reality for now but as we get into the more intense growing.