California Almond Market Update
Select Harvest USA: November 2019
As we head into November, we are seeing record setting demand numbers materialize from the Almond Board. Here are a few records we set in October:
- October Shipments topped 265.5 Million pounds
- Crop year-to-date topped 609.4 Million pounds
- Commitments nearly 694 Million
Combining reported shipments and commitments, the industry is +12.68% ahead of where it was this time last year. This in spite of similar crop size expectations and a higher price floor in 2019.
Still Unclear Yield
Forecasting crop ultimate crop size remains a bit murky. The industry consensus appears to be holding strong in the 2.35-2.4 billion pound range. The Almond Board reports effectively flat receipts from haulers year over year. A drop-off year over year in this number in December could signal a slowing of production, thus a nearing of the end of the season. We will watch this as a possible clue to crop size. We have also seen kernel size distribution skew slightly to the larger side, which may put pressure on the smallest sized nuts if this trend continues.
We have seen prices firm and rise. We see no reason to expect anything different in the near-term as our benchmark Stock to Use ratio stays below the bearish mark of 20%. We see high risk in remaining uncovered in hopes that a large crop yield softens prices, especially with strong demand numbers indicating a willingness to absorb any extra supply.