Strong Start for May: Market & Crop Update for Almonds

Strong Start for May: Market & Crop Update for Almonds

Mintec Global
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USDA NASS Subjective Estimate

The almond market has begun May on a strong note, witnessing an increase in sales despite some tightening in supply across various varieties and sizes. Buyers have remained flexible, understanding the current supply dynamics for this time of the season. Recent weather patterns have been unpredictable, with a strong rainstorm followed by cooler temperatures. However, the abundant water supply in orchards has been maintained, with average temperatures about 13 degrees cooler than usual, though rising to the norm of low 90’s over the weekend.

Last Friday, the USDA NASS released its Subjective Estimate of 3.00 billion pounds, marking a significant increase of over 21% compared to last year’s production. While slightly higher than industry forecasts, this estimate aligns well with market expectations and will serve as a key reference for the next 8 weeks until the release of the Objective Estimate.

Shipments and Crop Receipts

Shipments for March totaled 237 million pounds, down by -15.7% from last year but within industry expectations. Shipments are projected to continue on track, minimizing carry-out to an estimated 550 million pounds. Crop receipts have reached 2.437 billion pounds and are expected to rise slightly in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the industry has shipped 1.838 billion pounds YTD, surpassing last year’s shipments by +2.25%. While domestic and export shipments were down in March compared to the previous year, YTD domestic shipments remain flat, and export shipments are up 3.44% from last year.

Industry Trends and Upcoming Milestones

New sales in March saw a notable increase of 26.5% compared to the previous year, indicating a positive trend as growers and processors look to secure forward contracts. With favorable growing conditions and ample water supply, a strong start to the new crop year is anticipated.

Looking ahead, upcoming industry milestones include the Position Report on May 14, 2024, and the Objective Estimate on July 10, 2024.

Market Trends – Week 19:

Bullish Trends:

  • Shipments remain strong, exceeding last year’s figures by 2.25%, with expectations for April shipments above 220 million pounds.
  • The projected carry-out is below 550 million pounds, balancing supply and demand effectively.
  • Despite slight price increases, almonds remain a preferred choice over other tree nuts, maintaining market strength.

Bearish Trends:

  • Uncertainty surrounding commitments raises questions about demand for the remainder of the crop year, necessitating close monitoring of the April position report.
  •  Demand for the current crop may be affected by diminishing availability of quality and sizing, potentially prompting some buyers to wait for the new crop.

With a forecasted production of 3 billion pounds and a carry-out of around 550 million pounds, market pressure will focus on sales, ensuring market stability in the coming months.

Source: Nuts by ofi