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Almonds: busy bees in Spain

March 23, 2023 at 10:32 AM , Der AUDITOR
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MADRID/SACRAMENTO. With the stormy weather persisting in California and flowering coming to an end prospects are far from encouraging for almonds. High temperatures may have helped busy bees along in Spain, but growers are sounding the alarm bell.

Traders seize the day

Stormy weather has given California’s orchards little peace in the critical bloom phase. Petals have now started to fall and a high degree of uncertainty persists as to the impact on this year’s crop. Suppliers, however, emphasise that there is no need to panic as the past has shown that the crop may turn out better than expected despite adverse weather conditions.

Yet, many growers have decided to play it safe by withdrawing from the market until the situation can be more clearly assessed. Traders have seized the opportunity to step in and sell their supplies as customers are eager to buy, whereas suppliers are raising their prices. Global demand is, in fact, strong and consumption is increasing. Contrary to this, sales have declined within the US, which is a concern for local suppliers.

Lack of rain is alarming in Spain

Growers are sounding the alarm bells in Spain. Trouble is the lack of rain. Although some rain was received in mid-December, conditions have been too dry since. Fear is that if rain fails to pick up in April and May before the dry summer season starts in June, the crop will only reach half its potential in Castilla-La Mancha. Good news, however is that temperatures are good for flowering here. High daytime temperature of 24C (75.2F) are helping the bees to do their work and minimum temperatures are expected to range at 7C (44.6F) in the next few days meaning that the risk of frost is small for now.

Producers also highlight that early varieties such as Largueta almond trees started to flower around 20-25 days later than last year in southern Spain and that night and daytime temperatures differ by as much as 15C (59F), which is not ideal. Yet, flowering and pollination have been good here so far. While the Marcona trees are still in full bloom, petals are falling from the Largueta trees and fruit set is underway. Prices have risen a bit for Spanish varieties, whereas the prices for some processed almonds have declined. Organic almonds are trading firm.

Almonds

Conventional

EUR/kg

USD/kg

Valencia, 12/14 mm, natural, Spain

4.25

4.63

Valencia, +14 mm, natural, Spain

4.75

5.17

Largueta, 13/14 mm, natural Spain

6.90

7.51

Largueta, 12/13 mm, natural, Spain

6.50

7.08

Marcona, 12/14 mm, natural, Spain

7.10

7.73

Guara, 12/14 mm, natural, Spain

4.45

4.85

California, standard, natural

4.30

4.68

Almonds, blanched, diced

4.25

4.63

Organic

Valencia, 12/14 mm, natural, Spain

7.20

7.84

Valencia, +14 mm, natural, Spain

7.50

8.17

Diced, blanched, Spain

8.65

9.42

FCA Spain

 

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price chart, almonds, natural, +14, Valencia
price chart, almonds, natural 13/14, Largueta
price chart, almonds, blanched, 27/30, California SSR
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price chart almonds natural Largueta 13-14 Spain
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price chart almonds natural Valencia 12-14 Spain

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