California almond shipments for the month of June came in at 137 million pounds. This number is within 2 % of the shipment numbers for last June. Year to date shipments now stand at 1.715 billion pounds compared to 1.778 billion pounds for the same time last year. We have one more month to go before closing out the shipments for the 2012 crop year. We anticipate a very tight transition period as the industry moves into new crop harvest. We expect a strong shipment number for July as most of the 2012 Crop is committed. Overall, markets are uncovered with very little inventory as we move into new crop. With an industry unsold number of 192 million pounds, with a fair share of this inventory not found in products in demand, requirements will be strong for early shipments from the new crop. Higher prices will also most likely result in buying hand to mouth until confidence is solid with prices and more information is known on the 2013 crop size and the makeup of CPO sizes within each variety.
The recent NASS 2014 crop estimate of 1.85 billion pounds has pushed prices up for the remaining current and new crop. The next benchmark to gauge the accuracy of the NASS Objective Estimate will be in the Oct/Nov timeframe. Concerns continue regarding the cost and availability for water into the fall, winter and next spring. No doubt we need a wet winter with plenty of snow in the Sierras.