Senior Vice President
Yesterday, the National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) announced the Objective Estimate for the 2021 California almond crop at 2.8 billion meat pounds. The Subjective Estimate in May was 3.2 billion meat pounds. The objective estimate is based on 1.33 million bearing acres. The swing from the subjective and objective is a difference of 400 million pounds. The 2.8 billion pounds objective is at the low end of expectations while most in the industry centered on 3.0 billion pounds. The Nonpareil variety representing 39% of the crop is forecasted 15% below last year’s supply. Reasons stated for the lower than expected estimate include a lack of rainfall and low water allocations. Furthermore, extreme heat this summer and a recovery required from the high yields from last year on stressed orchards.
The first indications for the accuracy of this estimate will not be known until the November or December ABC shipment reports. By this period typically a significant amount of the crop will have been sold. Furthermore, the ongoing drought conditions in California will keep sellers moving forward cautiously until more is known regarding weather and snowpack moving into the bloom next year.
Over the coming weeks the industry will dissect this latest estimate and match the details in this report with internal projections. While a 2.8 billon pound crop would be the 2nd largest crop in history it is a number that falls short of 2020 crop demand.