December 7, 2016
Senior Vice President
The Almond Board of California issued the November Position report on Wednesday, December 7. Receipts for November were 372 million lbs, bringing the YTD receipts to 1.930 billion. Historical post-November receipts trends indicate that the 2016 California almond crop will finalize short of 2.1 billion lbs. The uncertainty over a potentially larger crop has been eliminated.
November shipments exceeded the prior year by 33.5% or 47 million lbs. YTD shipments are 38.9% and 222 million lbs greater than last year. U.S. YTD shipments remain at a strong 12.5% above 2015 crop, while export shipments exceed last year by 53%. Export shipments were led by large gains in China and the Middle East, with year over year growth in every major geographic region.
New commitments in November were 150 million lbs. YTD 2016 crop commitments remain 120 million lbs and 28% ahead of last year.
The Almond Board of California and Land IQ presented data on Tuesday, 12/6, that placed California almond acreage at ~5% greater than NASS estimates. This has no impact on total 2016 production, but does demonstrate that California almond yields per acre have been modestly overstated based on NASS data.
Market Perspective –
Despite unprecedented early shipments and commitments, 2016 crop almond prices have been softening in recent weeks. The weakness largely attributed to uncertainty over the ultimate size of the 2016 crop, a strengthening dollar and paper currency issues in India.
The November ABC Position Report makes it evident that the 2016 crop is less likely to reach or exceed 2.1 billion lbs. This year’s supply is 55% shipped and committed through four months vs. 45% last year.
Until projections of next year’s crop begin to change the equation, the repeated strong shipments and commitments experienced through November should put a bit more stability to 2016 crop almond prices.