Bill Morecraft – Senior Vice President
October’s ABC Position Report saw a new industry shipment record for the month at 246.5 million lbs, an increase of 4.5% over October ’16. Both domestic and export markets contributed to the strong shipment totals up 2.5% and 4% respectively over last October. Year to date, the industry has closed to within 1.5 million lbs of last year’s shipments. As shipments continue to recover from a late harvest, the industry year to date numbers will continue to grow.
October receipt numbers were strong, coming in at 684.8 million lbs (20.6% ahead of last October receipts) closing the year to date gap to -1.9% (from -14.8%). November receipts should exceed the 371.6 million lbs seen November 2016 putting the 2017 crop ahead of last year. Shipments & commitments for the 2017 crop have reached 1,282.4 million lbs, or 48.5% of anticipated supply.
The late start and processing challenges have some major importers including India (-2%) and China/Hong Kong (-12%) behind year to date putting downward pressure on the export numbers in total. Helping prop up these early crop year shipment numbers are the U.S. (3%), Europe (7%), and the United Arab Emirates (22%) who are all experiencing positive demand trends through the first three months.
Market Perspective –
We continue to see robust activity for new products and the use of almonds across key product categories. Stable price levels continue to fuel growth in almond consumption.
With high serious damage, increased doubles and a relative lack of smaller CPO’s, the industry may encounter challenges with markets and customers that have stricter size and quality requirements.
While the crop is still anticipated to come in close to 2.250 billion lbs, extraneous quality factors may put pressure on actual saleable supply. With high quality product potentially scarce, we see prices firming in select areas where high product quality is required.