Senior Vice President
May shipments for the California almond industry reached 170 million lbs., just shy of last year’s record for the month. The May shipment total is 25 million lbs. higher than any previous May, other than last year. New commitments last month were 144.9 million lbs., putting month-end commitments 6.2% higher than last year. Combining shipments and commitments, the 2016 crop is 290+ million lbs. more committed than in the prior year.
With YTD inshell shipments 30% higher than the prior year, inshell inventories have been depleted earlier. The lower inshell inventories are the primary reason the May shipment total fell short of last year’s record. The U.S. continues to post consistently strong shipment numbers, up 10% for the month and 13% YTD. For the first time, the May Position report also includes new crop commitments, checking in at 209 million lbs. through May.
Market Perspective –
2016 Crop prices have stabilized and modestly strengthened in the past few weeks. Ending inventories project to be flat to very modestly higher than last year at 410-435 million lbs. With full year shipments tracking above 2 billion lbs, 2016 inventories across many items are getting tight.
All eyes are on the upcoming Objective Estimate scheduled for July 6 to see if it provides any new directional shift. Until then, new crop prices have been stable and trading very close to 2016 crop.