Blue Diamond Almonds
The NASS Objective Estimate for the California almond Crop was issued earlier today, projecting a 2015 almond crop of 1.8 billion lbs. Based on 890,000 bearing acres (up 2.3% from last year), a nut count of 5,874 nuts per tree (down 12%) and kernel weight of 1.43 grams per kernel (down 1.4%), this estimate is lower than the May Subjective Estimate by 50 million lbs.
The 2015 crop projected yield per acre is the lowest since the 2009 crop. This year’s nut counts support per acre yields between those of the 2009 and 2010 crops. The last time the nut count averaged less than 6,000 per tree was in 2009 & 2010.
Late June market activity has been modest, with firm pricing. Some smaller volume call pool tonnage was offered at declining prices, but today’s estimate will cause that to dry up. With the long Independence Day holiday starting on Friday in the U.S., market reaction will begin developing next week.
Market Perspective –
New crop bookings are historically light since both buyers and sellers were reluctant to commit prior to today’s estimate. With minimal uncommitted 2014 crop and an Objective Estimate on the lower side of expectations, new crop pricing will start very firm. The next opportunity for a real shift in outlook will be at the onset of an early 2015 harvest, with significant crop information forming by late August.
The biggest concern for almond users continues to be the impact of ongoing drought on California almond production and how long it could be before sufficient water is available to reverse the downward yield trend. Both 2015 and 2016 crops are expected to be impacted by the lack of water in the 2015 growing season.
The June ABC Position Report will be published on Friday, July 10.