Vice President of International Sales
Today the National Agricultural Statistical Service announced the objective estimate for the 2019 California Almond crop at 2.20 billion pounds. This is based on 1.17 million bearing acres. Average nut set is down 17.8% from last year. This estimate is a surprise to the industry. The subjective estimate in May was 2.5 billion pounds. Previously, the largest variance between the subjective and objective estimates was in 2013. That year the industry subjective estimate was 2 billion pounds and the objective was 1.85 billion pounds. The crop ended up at 2.0 billion pounds. Furthermore, various sources throughout the industry over the last few months anticipated a number between 2.42 to 2.57 billion pounds for the 2019 crop. For the 2018 crop year the objective estimate of 2.45 billion pounds proved to be overly optimistic as the final number did not reach 2.3 billion pounds.
Over the next few weeks, packers will be going back and closely reviewing projections from the orchards and try to corroborate information with the NASS objective estimate. Next week we will also see the June Almond Board shipment numbers. The transition between old crop and new crop will also be difficult with many products simply out of stock. A later harvest will also exacerbate this situation.
As we enter the long holiday weekend in the US, reaction to the objective estimate will begin to formulate next week as buyers and sellers start to make business decisions on how to move forward and continue to debate the size of the crop through the fall.
We look forward to working closely with our customers as more market and crop information becomes available.