The Almond Board of California has released its October 2014 Industry Position Report. Shipments for the month are 204.64 mil lbs. versus 228.60 in 2013. October crop receipts are 1.51 bil lbs. versus 1.38 in 2013, an increase of 9.51%. Uncommitted inventory is 853.7 mil lbs versus 578.7 mil lbs in 2013, an increase of 47.51%.
Domestic shipments remain strong with 64.2 mil. lbs. shipped compared to 59.4 mil lbs shipped in 2013; total exports were 140.4 mil lbs versus 169.2 in 2013. Export shipments for the season, to date, are 345.5 mil lbs versus 393.9 mil lbs. Western Europe, October being peak shipment period for Christmas, is up 2% (53.57 mil lbs versus 52.62 mil lbs) even with Spain being down 18% (12.95 mil versus 15.85). China/Hong Kong is down 44% (21.09 mil versus 37.7 mil lbs.), while India continues to surpass expectations by being up 16% (12.77 mil versus 11.02 mil lbs). UAE and Turkey, down 23% and 20% respectively, led the way for total Middle East shipments being down 23% (18.73 mil versus 24.40 mil lbs).
Shipments being down for the month was expected by both sellers and buyers; the question many were asking was if it was going to surpass 200 mil lbs. (which it did). Buyers will undoubtedly use the low uncommitted inventory to illustrate to sellers that there is still a lot of selling that needs to be done, especially with the holiday shipping season completed to most major markets. For the short term outlook, we can expect more downward pressure on prices that have fallen .15-.25 from its peak in September. Sellers will continue to stress the dire water situation as a reason why prices should not fall too much. A average November for rainfall (which we are clearly short of to date) will not end the drought. Long term pricing will depend on whether CA receives sustained and substantial rain in the valley and snow in the mountains.
Please let us know your needs so we can offer accordingly.
As all of you are aware, the West Coast of the US is experiencing major issues at its ports. It is becoming increasingly difficult to access the equipment and vessel space needed to get containers where they need to be when they need to be there. The below link provides a summary of the current situation. Although it only references Southern California, all major ports on the West Coast are affected (including Oakland).