Bill Morecraft – Senior Vice President
The NASS Objective Estimate of 2.250 billion lbs is at the lower end of the range expected by the California almond industry. Although the bloom was difficult, the tree nut count was lower than expected.
While the 2.250 billion lbs would represent a record crop, we enter the 2017 crop year experiencing robust demand growth that would quickly consume the projected 115 million lb and 5% increase in crop.
Reasons for the positive outlook on worldwide demand include:
- Consumers continue to appreciate and enjoy the health and nutritional benefits of almonds.
- Almonds are competitively priced as the most affordable tree nut.
- Stable prices that are affordable for buyers and reasonable for sellers.
- Broad based growth in consumption exists across every major geographic region.
- Significant R&D investment with many new products containing almonds.
- Long term supply scenario indicates continued supply availability.
Market Perspective –
Strong late season shipments of 2016 crop is reducing projected ending inventory close to 400 million lbs.
With both 2016 carry-out inventory and the 2017 Objective Estimate at the lower end of expectations, the short term outlook is for stable to firming pricing.