Blue Diamond Almonds
In the March Almond Board Position report released today, industry shipments recovered from three months of capacity squeeze at West Coast ports. March shipments were 190 million lbs, 26% more than last year and a new record for the month. Year-To-Date shipments are now at 1.248 billion lbs. With strong shipments expected in April, the remainder of the year is projected flat to the prior year. This leaves carry-out inventory close to 350 million lbs. There will be very little buffer against prevailing concerns of the 2015 crop coming in shorter than the 2014 crop.
Year-to-date domestic shipments remain solid, within 2% of the 2013 crop record. On the export side, China/Hong Kong shipments are up 149% for the month. Vietnam is also up 56% for the month compared to last year. Year-to-date, China is down 18%, but trending toward reducing the shortfall by year-end. India’s consumption continues to be underestimated by the industry. Strong demand exists in the Indian market, even after shipments that are up 23% over last year. European shipments are down 16%. As expected, they have been impacted by a larger crop in Spain. Additional demand remains in the European market before the new crop arrives. The Middle East is down 11% YTD, but is also showing signs of recovery as port issues resolve. If sanctions for Iran are lifted anytime soon, the almond industry would experience another boost in demand.
2014/15 California Almond Industry
|MTD – VersusPrior Year||
YTD – Versus
|Middle East / Africa||90%||-11%|
|Asia / Pacific||58%||-3%|
The 2014 supply is more than 75% committed. The 2015 supply is likely to be less than the 2014 supply. Current crop prices began firming once again toward the latter half of March. New crop pricing has already achieved parity with current crop, earlier than ever. Expect increasingly tight almond supplies through the summer. Filling demand before the heat of summer may prove to be the best risk management.
Upcoming data milestones include the NASS almond acreage report, due out April 23, 2015 and the NASS Subjective Estimate for almonds scheduled for May 6, 2015.