Senior Vice President
The January 2018 ABC Position Report published today shows industry shipments at 193.5 million lbs, up 17% over last January. Strong global consumption continues to be the story throughout all product categories with overall demand up over 10% year-to-date.
YTD shipments and commitments total 1,883.8 million lbs putting the industry at ~70% sold. With shipments and commitments running ahead of last year, both in total lbs and as a share of supply, global consumption of almonds continues to grow consistently with the increase in California almond supply.
Domestically, demand is up 6% YTD, with similar gains for the month of January. China/Hong Kong continued its trend of strong demand with Chinese New Year approaching, up 43% over prior January. The region is now over 12% ahead year-to-date after a slow start to the year. India’s January shipments were flat to last year, but has seen year on year growth of 32.5% with in-shell consumption totaling over 141 million meat lbs. With Ramadan approaching, shipments to the Middle East have picked-up with the region gaining 4% on prior year putting them ahead of 2016-2017 for the first time. Western Europe continues to grow, gaining 20% over the prior January and reaching 10% year to date growth. A weak dollar and a growing snacking behavior both contribute to the increase in the EU.
January crop receipts totaled 34.8 million lbs, bringing the industry close to the 2.25 billion lbs NASS Objective Estimate. As crop receipts continue to trickle in, the final receipts will modestly exceed the NASS Objective Estimate.
With a warm start to February, many orchards are showing signs of early bloom activity since the middle of this week. Weather outlook is for above normal temperatures and dry conditions for the next 7-10 days.
Strong demand globally will continue to put pressure on supplies of high-quality material in the remaining 2017 crop. Transition into the 2018 crop is eight months away and availability will only become more difficult for NPX and other high quality product as summer approaches.