Report in Review: The Almond Board of California released the monthly shipment report for December 2018. Crop receipts are slightly lagging behind last year's receipts by .25 percent. This time last year the crop was received at almost 98 percent. As anticipated, December (199 million pounds) was strong but not strong enough to break last year's record of 204 million pounds. The domestic market continued its strong position with another record shipment month making it three months in a row of record shipments. The export market has recorded only one record shipment month thus far which came in November. Total shipments year-to-date are down just over 3 percent. New sales were 179 million pounds, which is up 8.2 percent versus last year. Domestic market continues to lead the way on commitments reporting up 5 percent, and the export markets are down 17.53 percent for commitments.
Market in Review: Since our last Position Report market prices have remained somewhat flat with Standard 5 $2.68-$2.70, Cal SSR $2.80-$2.88, Carmel Type Supreme $2.90-$3.00, and Nonpareil Extra $3.10-$3.25. Nonpareil inshell showed the most strength by reaching levels of $2.30 plus as of recent. Export markets are mostly covering nearby positions while the domestic market seems to be buying slightly more forward. Nearby availability has mostly dried up as packers report production schedules are full and now new sales can be added on for March forward.
Conclusion: Based on the current status of the market and today's report, positions will waiver very little as far as California sellers are concerned. The market now becomes a bloom focused market and the realization that the 2018 current crop could be similar in size to the 2017 crop. As we see it, today's market indicators point to another tight transition into the 2019 season for California and Carmel Type varieties.
Position Report Summary:
· Crop Receipts: -.25% (2.202 billion vs. 2.207 billion)
· Year-to-date Shipments: -3.01% (1.007 billion vs. 1.038 billion)
· Domestic Shipments: +2.44% (302 million vs. 295 million)
· Export Shipments: -5.18% (704 million vs. 742 million)
· Total Commitments: -8.50% (568 million vs. 621 million)
· New Sales: +8.26% (179 million vs 165 million)