Today the Almond Board of California reported: May 2013 shipments were 131.5 million lbs.
This is 9.5% below May 2012 shipments of 145.4 million lbs.
Domestic shipments were up 1.1% and exports were down 15.8%
Shipments for the season are 1.578 billion lbs. – 3.6% behind last season.
The almond market bottomed out around May 24th. Demand has been quite strong since then, for both 2012 and 2013 crops. Most of the buying has been out of Europe, which until recently was very uncovered for the summer months.
China remains well stocked on in-shell pollinator varieties but could continue buying further volume of Nonpareil ahead of new crop.
The 2012 CROP:
Crop receipts remain at 1.88 billion lbs.
The 2013 CROP:
We have seen high insect pressure (Navel Orange Worm, Leaf Footed Plant Bug, Mites) but growers have been dealing with the pressures well, so far. This could be another season with high serious damage. The quantity of nuts on the trees is the good news as we see strong crops throughout California. At this point we expect the harvest to come about 5-7 days ahead of normal timing.
Total shipments & commitments are 1.861 billion lbs. vs. 1.943 billion lbs. at the same time last season. There continue to be signs of a tight transition. Buyers needing very specific sizes, varieties, and grades should seriously consider covering the transition period (roughly July-Sept for pollinators and July – mid Aug for NP) sooner rather than later. The poor Spanish crop (impacted by frost and rains) could put additional pressure on current crop inventory due to increased demand out of Europe – for both current crop and early shipments of new crop.
New crop is trading at a discount but much less than seen earlier in the year. New crop NP 23/25 is in the range of 3.20 vs. current crop pricing of around 3.30. New crop STD5 is trading at 2.50 for Oct-Dec and a premium for early shipment positions. We are not making any forecasts on where the new crop market is heading…at least until we see the Objective crop estimate. This should be released on-time given the on-time or early development of the crop.