Senior Vice President
Yesterday, the ABC Position Report for November was released. YTD receipts reached 2.082 billion lbs, 96 million lbs higher than last November YTD. The receipts for the month of November were only 59 million lbs greater than the prior November. With the pace of receipts slowing down substantially in November, it appears that the crop will be close to 2.4 billion lbs even with more almonds to be received December forward than in the past. The erratic nature of 2019 crop yields make this crop more difficult to predict with precision, even at this late juncture, than any previous crop.
Shipments for November were flat to last year’s record (235.9 vs. 237.6 last year), leaving YTD shipments at 4.65% and 38 million lbs above last year. New commitments of 191 million lbs result in open commitments up 10.3% and 61 million lbs from last November. Heavier commitments for the U.S. market are driving the increase over last year. This bodes well for near term shipments into the U.S. market, as there appear to be fewer long-term positions taken than in years past.
At this juncture, YTD demand is more than outpacing growth in supply. Regional shipments are more varied than in recent years with the U.S. off by 4%. Asia-Pacific is down 13% YTD, largely due to a 42 million lb decline in China/Hong Kong/Viet Nam shipments and India slightly trailing last year’s pace. Shipments to Europe are up 16% or 30 million lbs. Finally, Middle East shipments are up a robust 91% or 50 million lbs through four months.
The significant deviations in early shipments by market demonstrate the value of widespread global demand for California almonds. While regional markets are fluctuating, the overall demand remains very steady.
As the 2019 crop continues to trend close to 2.4 billion lbs, there continues to be a shortage of pollinizers relative to demand. The almost nonexistent spread between smaller Nonpareils and pollenizer SSRs demonstrates that the SSR gap is being filled in some cases by Nonpareil.
The current trajectory of shipments indicate that this is likely another year with minimal final inventories and another difficult transition to new crop.
It would be wise to fill demand for pollinizer early, rather than waiting into the Spring months.
Enjoy the holidays!