April 10, 2013
2012 California Almond Crop is > 75% Shipped & Committed
By Bill Morecraft, General Manager Blue Diamond Almonds Global Ingredient Division
Year-To-Date shipments of California almonds through March continue to track as expected, flat to last year, constrained by available supply. Current year almond crop receipts are 1.878 billion pounds, 7% below last year, continuing to project a final 2012 crop below 1.9 billion pounds.
Eight months into the crop year, carryout inventories of the 2012 crop project to be ~ 250 million lbs., the lowest level in the last five years. The 2012 California crop is more than 75% shipped & committed, with current commitments representing 60 days of supply. Based on the projected carryout, there will be limited supply available to support market demand from early summer through late September, when the new crop becomes available.
The U.S. continues to drive industry growth. Last month’s shipments were up 8%, bringing the year to date increase to 8% over prior year, an increase of 27 million pounds. European shipments for March were off slightly leaving Europe flat year-to-date. Export sales globally were down for the month versus prior year driven by declines in China, India and the Middle East.
- China is beginning to exhibit new demand in early April.
- India has quickly digested the heavy shipments of January & February and requires additional coverage.
- The Middle East is experiencing brisk movement in the local market and will seek replenishment from California prior to Ramadan in July.
With the bloom complete, the next official 2013 crop benchmark will be the NASS Subjective Estimate to be issued on May 2. Following will be the quantitatively based NASS Objective Estimate issued on July 1. In spite of the overestimate of the 2011 Crop, The NASS Objective Estimate has averaged projecting the upcoming crop within 5% of actual since 2000.
Historical Carryout (lbs. million) and Projected Weeks on Hand for Current Crop Year