Almond Industry Update By Bill Morecraft, General Manager Blue Diamond Almonds Global Ingredient Division
2012 crop shipments from the California almond industry through February surpass last year by 0.5%, while total 2012 crop supply is expected to be 2-3% less than the prior year. As monthly shipments continue to match or exceed the prior year, a late season transition issue continues to emerge. Industry inventories at July 31 project to be 250 million lbs., both 25% lower and 85 million lbs. less than at the same time last year. With August shipments expected to be 125-140 million lbs., many specific items will be unavailable from late June to early October.
Over the last month, prices gently softened from pre-bloom highs for most markets. In highly commoditized items, the price retreat reported by industry brokers was greater ($.40-$.50/lb.). Expectations for the spring and summer are for gradually firming prices for business delivered before 2013 crop availability. New crop availability begins in early September for Nonpareil and late September to early October for pollenizers. Reports in the last week have already indicated firming offers from trade.
Current crop pricing may have been impacted by early speculation on 2013 crop pricing that has started at levels significantly lower than current crop. As current crop prices firm again through the spring, it will likely drive up 2013 crop pricing as well.
As bloom draws to a close, you can get the latest bloom update on our website.