Article by: Hari Yellina
The 2021 crop should be substantially bigger than the projected forecasts, with a landing of roughly 2.9 billion lbs, based on the amounts received at the closure of January 2022 (2.827 billion lbs). Despite being less abundant than the 2020 crop, the 2021/2022 campaign will be backed by a broad volume available (crop + carry-over stock) that is comparable to or almost equal to the year before (+/- 3.42 billion lbs at term). California’s flowering season has begun, and all signs point to it being a good one. Indeed, the current temperatures, as well as the forecasted temperatures for the upcoming 10 days, are optimal for pollination. Temperatures are substantially above average for the season (+10°c), rekindling concerns about water supplies and the significant risk of fires across the production area. Although some believe the logistically overheated increase is now behind us, shipping issues persist.
Demand has been boosted by the high activity in January, although it remains below market forecasts (208 million new sales vs. 250/300 million predicted). It’s also worth noting that the domestic market is expanding, which is unusual for this time of year. These exceptional accomplishments, however, are insufficient to compensate for the reductions in the key consuming countries/regions (Europe: -32 per cent ; Middle East: -30 per cent ; India: -0.7 per cent …). Compared to N-1, volumes shipped are still down 16 percent. The possibility of a massive carry-out volume looms on the horizon, with initial estimates ranging from 750 million to 1 billion pounds of unsold stock, depending on performance expectations for the next six months.
The release of the January report coincided with a small drop in overall prices, reflecting poor new sales in January and excellent weather conditions for the forthcoming harvest. Indeed, Std5 almond sales transactions were recorded at $1.75/lb FAS, which is still one of the season’s lowest values. For the 2022 new crop sales, a premium of $0.10/lb. is still being sought, but few are taking it because current trading patterns no longer justify it, according to interested dealers and purchasers. The current price remains below manufacturing costs, making it difficult for producers to sell their products, which are stacking up in warehouses and posing a severe threat.