Position Report Summary:
Crop receipts -1.29%
YTD Shipments -10.04% (-36 million pounds less than last year)
Shipments -11.4% (Domestic -.7% and Export -15.2%)
YTD Commitments -22.82% (-164 million pounds less than last year)
New Sales -10.3%,
Here is the link to today's position report for your review. September Almond Position Report
To recap the previous couple of weeks we have seen prices on both pollinators and nonpareil strengthen 10-15 cents. Buyers came to the market to cover their nearby needs as their positions were fairly open as forward buying has been minimal. The need to cover short term shipments coupled with a lack of offers/availability created the perfect storm to increase prices. Prior to today we were seeing prices around $2.75-$2.80 for Carmel Type Supreme 23/25, Cal SSR 27/30 $2.60-$2.63, and Nonpareil Extra No. 1 23/25 at $3.00 plus.
Leading up to today's report many shippers and buyers felt the total amount shipped this month versus last year would be down and the expectations were around 170 million pounds. The major unknown was the number of new sales, and with new sales totaling just over 210 million pounds this puts California behind last year's commitments by 22.82 percent. The domestic market has kept a steady pace of shipments with the first two months of the year being nearly flat to last year, but the export markets continue to lag behind. Export markets like Germany, Spain, Italy, China/HK/Vietnam, UAE, and Turkey are down double digits with shipments off approximately 10 to 50 percent. India is up 10% versus last year. Can the market sustain today's levels with export markets being down like they have been thus far?
Total crop size has been the subject of many discussions lately, and there is a growing belief that the crop could fall short of the estimate of 2.45 billion pounds. The crop receipts to date show the industry is down 1.29 percent compared to last year. We are early in the season still and I would imagine buyers and sellers alike will keep a close eye on crop receipts.
The first two shipment months from last year weren't record shipment months, but California made up ground October through April with record shipments each month. The record shipment months could be attributed to the prices we saw in Quarters 1 and 2 of 2017. Looking back in my notes from last year prices on the lower end and higher end grades were fairly similar with Standard 5% around $2.20 to $2.30 and Nonpareil around $3.00 - $3.10, but the big change in pricing is the sized California SSR and Carmel Type Supreme items. These items were around $2.35-$2.55 and it wasn't until around September that the market started recording higher levels $2.60-$2.70. Then we had the frost and prices spiked. From that point we know how the market trended over the next several months.
Moving into October, which is typically the biggest shipping and selling month we will have to see how sellers and buyers react to today's report.
If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.