By Bill Morecraft, General Manager Blue Diamond Almonds Global Ingredient Division
The NASS Objective Estimate for the 2013 California almond crop was released today, July 1, 2013 at 1.85 billion lbs. The projection is 2% below last year’s crop and down 7.5% from May’s subjective forecast. A lighter Nonpareil crop and smaller kernel sizes across all varieties are contributing to the lower projection.
A smaller Nonpareil crop combined with smaller kernel measurements will likely put pressure on pricing across the size spectrum. Although on the lower side of industry expectations, the estimate fits the long-term projections of a flat spot in production growth reflecting the flatter trend in bearing acres.
Concerns about water shortages, compounded by unseasonably hot weather, have prevented much optimism for the 2013 crop projections to exceed the estimate, or for 2014 crop yield potential.
For the second consecutive year, crop size will limit growth opportunities. Having a supplier with a broad breadth and depth of supply will be necessary to ensure access to raw materials throughout the year.
This week, being a short week due to the Independence Day holiday in the U.S., will provide time to digest the data and assess expectations.