Nuts

Almonds: crop estimates revised

April 4, 2024 at 11:40 AM , Der AUDITOR
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MADRID. Record rainfalls have improved the prospects this year's crop in Spain. The International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) has reduced the crop estimates for several countries. Aiming to offer consumers healthier snacks the UK has decided to scrap tariffs for almonds.

Crop estimates reduced

Several countries have reported lower outputs in 2023/2024. This has prompted the INC to issue lower crop estimates for the USA, Italy and Portugal as well as Greece. Total global production now ranges 5% lower than last year at 1.4 million mt and total supplies also 5% lower at 1.8 million mt. US production is currently estimated at 1.063 million mt (2.343 billlion pounds), which not only undercuts the USDA objective estimate but also present industry estimates that range just above 1.089 million mt (2.4 billion pounds). Insect damage and harvest delays prompted by last year’s wet winter and spring caused the downturn. Prospects are, fortunately, more encouraging this year. Although California witnessed the 10th wettest February in history and storms were reported the bloom is said to have been good and much better than last year.

While the 2023/2024 crop turned out to be a disaster, the Almond Board of Australia estimates this year’s crop 59% higher at 164,700 mt (kernel weight equivalent). Yields have returned to average and are more in line with long-term projections stipulating that annual production will exceed 200,000 mt. The INC has also maintained the crop estimate for Spain, despite excessive heat and drought been witnessed throughout the country last year. As the winter was unusually warm this year’s production will also be impacted. Yet, silver lining are the record rainfalls witnessed in March. Suppliers report that the trees are presently receiving a good deal of water, which will provide some help. Drought, in addition, had an impact on kernel size in southern Portugal, which is why the crop estimate was reduced from the initially anticipated 25,000 mt in November to 20,000 mt in March. Production has still gained by 21% due to a good flowering period and an increase in bearing hectares.

Global almond production, kernel basis (mt)

Country

2022/23

2023/24

Diff.

USA

1,147,710

1,063,720

-7.3%

Australia

140,963

103,381

-26.7%

Spain

61,684

100,000

62.1%

Turkey

25,000

25,000

0.0%

Italy

20,900

21,800

4.3%

Portugal

16,500

20,000

21.2%

Morocco

18,000

18,500

2.8%

China

17,500

15,000

-14.3%

Chile

12,400

14,150

14.1%

Tunisia

13,000

12,000

-7.7%

Greece

10,000

6,500

-20.2%

Iran

4,000

6,000

50.0%

Others

12,500

16,000

28.0%

Total

1,500,157

1,422,051

-5.2%

Almond Board of California, Almond Board of Australia, AEOFRUSE, Portugal Nuts, ChileAlmonds, Greek Nuts & Fruits Trade Association and other INC sources, INC March 2024

Strong January in Spain

International demand is shaping up quite well for almonds this season. US exports currently range 12% higher than last year with India being the most important destination by far as the Almond Board of California's February position report shows. As the UK will suspend tariffs on raw kernels and inshell almonds from all origins as of 11 April US suppliers have got their hopes up that this will boost sales. The suspension will remain in place until 30 June 2026 according to the UK Trade Department. An extension beyond this date is very well possible. Intention is to increase the availability of healthy products and the estimated costs for UK importers range at USD 4 million per year. A 4% tariff on inshell almonds and 2% tariff on raw kernels has been in place since the UK left the EU in 2021. The UK tariff of 8-10% for roasted almonds, 8% for marzipan and almond flour and 20% for almond paste will, however, remain in place as local media report.

Shipments also exceeded intake in Australia in November and there will be very little carry-over stocks this year. Spain has, in addition, reported relatively good export figures considering that the current crop only reached an estimated 100,000 mt. Exports, in fact, only ranged 1.5% lower than last year in September through to January with France being the most important export destination, followed by Germany and Italy. Monthly exports stood at 11,485 mt in January 2024, with is 10% up on January 2023.

Almond exports, Spain (in mt)

Destination

2022/23

2023/24

Diff

France

17,363

17,492

0.7%

Germany

16,361

15,107

-7.7%

Italy

12,889

12,172

-5.6%

Portugal

2,915

3,559

22.1%

UK

2,785

2,704

-3.0%

Netherlands

1,980

2,484

45.6%

Poland

2,589

2,384

-8.0%

Belgium

2,375

1,923

-19.1%

Switzerland

1,443

1,403

-2.8%

Turkey

1,665

1,155

-30.7%

Others

12,855

13,717

6.7%

Total

75,220

74,100

-1.5%

Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, Spain, 01/08-31/01

 

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