Senior Vice President
November 2020 crop receipts came in at 603 million lbs, bringing YTD receipts to 2.414 billion lbs. November receipts on smaller crops give a stronger indication of the final crop. With the 2020 estimated at 3.0 billion, it will take longer to zero in on the final number. The 2020 crop still looks close to 3.0 billion, however its anticipated to be slightly above or below the Objective Estimate.
California handlers continue to ship at a robust pace, with November shipments of 263.2 million exceeding last November by 11.6%. YTD shipments of 1.026 billion are 21.5% ahead of last year, up 181 million lbs after the first four months.
The U.S. is up 31 million lbs and 13%, with nearly half of the increase found in manufactured products. Europe is up over 25 million lbs YTD, an increase of 12%. A favorable exchange rate also tempers the firmer prices for EU buyers. China/Vietnam volume stands at 111.4 million lbs, up 33.7 million lbs and now 30% over last year. This is a welcome sign considering the last few years have been impacted by the trade disputes between the US and China. Strong sales for 11/11, Chinese “Singles’ Day” and the upcoming Chinese New Year are positive indicators for a market that has enormous potential for California.
India remains the overall growth leader with 179.5 million lbs, up 82% over last year. Inshell shipments are 254.4 million lbs YTD, up 51% over inshell shipments same time last year. Almonds are currently being tagged the “immunity nut” due to Covid, favorable pricing versus cashew nuts, and new distribution with an expanding buyers base have all contributed to this positive growth. The Indian market will require more buying in the spring and the Australian crop offers will begin appearing as their harvest commences concurrently. While the Middle East is relatively flat, Ramadan buying is around the corner. Smaller NPX sizes will have to be accepted by consumers for the market to grow and meet market demand.
New commitments in November reached 235 million lbs, compared to 191 million lbs of new commitments in 2019. Total commitments at the end of November were 1.004 billion lbs, an increase of 355 million lbs and 55% over the same time last year.
The pace of shipments will continue at record levels through December. The high commitments suggest the accelerated pace may continue even longer.
Demand in the first four months of the 2020 crop year could not have started any stronger. The California industry is working rapidly through the increased supply.
Prices have firmed reflecting the strong early demand and remain so into January.
With the large yields and somewhat smaller CPOs in the 2020 crop, mid-size and larger CPOs will not be as plentiful as the overall crop size would indicate.