November Almond Position Report:
- Crop Receipts: -0.33% (1.986 billion vs. 1.993 billion)
- Year-to-date Shipments: -3.15% (807 million vs. 834 million)
- YTD Domestic Shipments: +2.81% (249 million vs. 242 million)
- YTD Export Shipments: -5.60% (558 million vs. 591 million)
- Total Commitments: -10.83% (588 million vs. 660 million)
- Domestic Commitments (sold, not delivered): -2.41% (250 million vs. 256 million)
- Export Commitments (sold, not delivered): -16.19% (338 million vs. 403 million)
California sellers’ expectations were met as the November almond report reflected stronger November shipments in 2018 with 237 million pounds versus 228 million pounds November 2017 thus exceeding the record set last year by 4 percent. With back to back record shipments and sales, it seems the sellers have regained the momentum which they will ride into bloom which commences during February.
January appears to be fairly committed as well. On top of record shipments California had a record sales in November recording a total 239 million pounds bringing the new sales position to roughly 51 percent sold including the carry-in of 359 million pounds and a sold position of 57 percent based on the estimate of 2.45 billion pounds. Keep in mind sellers have been saying for weeks if not months now that the crop is going to come in below the crop estimate and for the most part buyers have agreed. The real question now is how much less than the estimate. As it stands today, crop receipts are slightly behind last year’s figure by .33 percent. The industry typically has a good idea what the crop size should be shortly after the first of the year.
November was a steady month for most markets. Sellers and buyers stayed to their strategy of keeping sales and purchases nearby. Major markets like China/Vietnam/HK, Domestic, and UAE pushed forward despite increasing prices and strong demand, while some major European markets experienced lethargic shipment figures along with India. The caveat to these markets that experienced lethargic shipments have potential to lead the charge in the next round of buying. We will know soon enough who will take the lead in covering some of their next round of needs.
Since the last position report, we have seen price increase nearly 20 to 25 cents per pound on California and Carmel Type varieties and Nonpareil increase around 15 to 20 cents per pound. California and Carmel Type SSR prior to the report was indicated between $2.70 to $2.83 Unpasteurized with Supreme grade California and Carmel Type between $2.83 to $2.95 Unpasteurized. Standard 5% $2.60 to $2.65. Nonpareil Extra hovered between $3.05 and $3.25 Unpasteurized for the larger size 20/22, and Supreme grade around 7 to 8 cents less. Nonpareil Inshell was last reported sold around $2.23 to $2.24 FAS with Independence $2.08 to $2.10 and Monterey $1.72 to $1.73.
The outlook between now and bloom is that prices should remain strong as the market adjusts to availability with shipping capacity for December/January, final crop size, strong almond demand despite tariff and currency fluctuations, to-date average weather pattern thus far in California, etc. We also have to look at what transpired last season after bloom and how tight the transition was which might be a major focal point for some in considering forward needs. All of this will most likely result in sellers increasing offer prices as they try and test the market acceptance/resilience.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or inquiries please let us know.