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Almonds: demand is key

August 29, 2022 at 10:12 AM, Der AUDITOR
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SACRAMENTO/MADRID. Contrary to US shipments, which took a hit in 2021/2022, Spain’s almond industry has recorded a better export performance. Optimism may prevail in California at present, but prospects are not quite as encouraging.

France displaces Germany

Spain exported 10,756 mt (23.71 million pounds) of almonds in June, which is nearly 2% up on June 2021. Total exports for August to June amount to 126,364 mt (278 million pounds), which is a 9% rise on the same period in 2020/2021. As shipments to France rose sharply by 22%, the country has become the leading export destination for Spain’s almond industry. Shipments to Germany, which ranks second, have declined by 7%. The UK even purchased 24% less almonds in Spain. The United States remain the only non-European country ranking in Spain’s top ten. Exports to here, however, range 8% lower than last year.

Almond exports, Spain in mt

Destination

2020/21

2021/22

Diff.

France

26,892

32,785

22%

Germany

28,246

26,378

-7%

Italy

22,347

23,387

5%

UK

7,582

5,783

-24%

Belgium

4,237

5,361

26%

Netherlands

5,030

4,639

-8%

Poland

4,103

4,547

11%

Portugal

3,672

4,436

21%

USA

3,040

2,789

-8%

Switzerland

2,418

2,496

3%

Others

18,797

25,586

36%

Total

126,364

138,187

9%

Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, Aug-Jun

Optimism in California

California is still suffering from a prolonged heatwave with no rain forecast for the next seven days. Harvesting is in full swing with reports stating that yields are far from good in many parts of the state. Although the extended drought coupled with the frost in February have caused considerable damage, especially for Nonpareil varieties, it is too early in the season to claim this year’s crop as bad. Production is expected to range at 2.6 billion pounds (1.2 million mt), which may be 12% less than last year’s bumper crop of 3.1 billion pounds (1,4 million mt) but as Olam points out these figures are still high considering that production ranged at 2.5 billion pounds (1.1 million mt) in 2019/2020. This also puts shipments into a different perspective. Although shipments fell 9% short of last year at 2.634 billion pounds (1.2 million mt), shipments only reached 2.372 billion pounds (1.07 million mt) in 2019/2020.

Yet, the situation is totally different than two years ago. Although Olam reckons that production is only taking a step back and will continue to do so, this does not give full credit to the climate crisis. There is, in fact, little chance that weather conditions will improve in California in the next few years. The industry was also struck by logistical challenges and economic issues throughout 2021/2022, which leave an unprecedented carry-in of 838 million pounds (380,110 mt) for the current season. Reports also state that only 11% of the new crop have been sold so far, which ranges below the 15% considered average. While demand is slow to pick up, growers are also holding back at present until the crop can be better assessed. Prices may gain some support, especially if some varieties remain hard to find. Much will, however, also depend on demand, which may not be as quick to recover considering that the world is in economic turmoil. The spot market prices for US almonds have certainly declined in Spain.

US Almonds

Type

EUR/kg

USD/kg

Nonpareil, extra no 1 25/27, natural

5.54

5.29

Nonpareil, extra no 1 23/25, natural

5.94

5.68

Carmel, type SSR 23/25, natural

4.49

4.29

Meal, blanched, premium

4.39

4.28

Diced, blanched, 2-4 mm

4.69

4.57

FCA Spain

 

View more
price chart, almonds, natural, +14, Valencia
price chart, almonds, natural 13/14, Largueta
price chart, almonds, blanched, 27/30, California SSR
more price charts

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