Almond Market Update
Blue Diamond Almonds
The 2014 crop is being harvested earlier than any crop in recent memory. 40% more volume was received this August than in August 2013.
The 2014 Nonpareil crop projects to be significantly less than the NASS Objective Estimate, falling 15% or more below last year statewide.
The pollenizer harvest appears to be closer to last year’s crop than Nonpareil, but is not initially expected to equal last year across all varieties. Initial pollenizer harvest results would need to improve to achieve a 1.9 billion lb 2014 crop. Market pricing and activity in recent weeks have reflected this expectation.
The ABC Position report indicates that August shipments are 4% less than last year, a strong start against a supply that is expected to be smaller than last year.
Major Markets Summary –
With only one month of shipment data, the trends in each market have not been established. The U.S. market did grow by 1% over the prior year. Shipments to India propelled Asia to a significant year-over-year increase. Japan & Korea continue their growth of last year. Western Europe took a significant step back from the prior year, down 27%, with the Middle East/Africa off by 31%.
Market Perspective –
Market prices rose sharply in August, driven by disappointing results for the Nonpareil harvest. Total supply projects to be no more than 95% of the prior year, even with a higher beginning inventory. The impact of weaker than expected early harvest results is compounded by ongoing concerns for water supply into next year and the impact on 2015 crop yield potential.
Most California almond sellers are reluctant to commit deeply into the upcoming season until more is known on current harvest results.