Nuts

Almonds: drought and inflation

June 13, 2022 at 11:15 AM, Der AUDITOR
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SACRAMENTO/MADRID. While buyers and suppliers are concerned with inflation, California is bracing for the driest months of the year. Water stress will be an issue in the next few months and prospects are rather bleak after the harvest. US almond shipments, nevertheless, hit a record in May.

May record

At 257.546 million lbs US almond shipments hit a record in May as the position report issued by the Almond Board of California shows. Since domestic shipments have climbed to 643.545 million lbs between August and May and exports to 1.542 billion lbs net shipments amount to 2,186 billion lbs, which however falls 11% short on the 2.448 billion lbs shipped in the same period last year.

Year-to-date exports also amounted to 1.542 billion lbs, which is 13% down on last year. The uncommitted inventory ranged at 660 million lbs, which is 52% up on last year. Handlers had sold 129 million lbs of the 2022/2023 production in May. US export have declined in nearly all leading destinations, with the noted exception of the Netherlands, where shipments range 20% higher than last year. Demand slowed in India in the second half of May as RPAC reports. This should, however, change in the next few months since India will require supplies form the current crop for Diwali, the festival of lights, which is celebrated in October. Low prices should also help to revive demand in other countries.

US almond YTD exports in 1,000 lbs

Top 10 destination

2020/21

2021/22

Diff.

India

322,268

300,195

-7.9%

Spain

191,046

184,591

-3.4%

China/Hong Kong

152,183

111,125

-27.0%

Germany

123,846

92,859

-25.0%

United Arab Emirates

104,226

98,222

-5.8%

Netherlands

79,695

85,150

20.4%

Italy

81,836

71,628

-12.5%

South Korea

67,552

57,307

-15.2%

Turkey

58,015

55,918

-3.7%

Canada

50,530

53,564

6.0%

Others

545,105

431,826

-9.2%

Total

1,776,302

1,542,385

-13.2%

California Almonds, 01/08-31/05

Prices up in Europe

Inflation certainly is a concern in the US and in Europe as this will impact demand. Suppliers, however, hope that the relative attractiveness of the almond prices will help to sustain demand. Although prices in Europe are indeed still relatively low in levels roughly witnessed in 2020, they have picked up in recent weeks. Production prospects are also far from encouraging in Spain as the National Nut Board reckons that the sudden frosts in spring coupled with drought will reduce this year’s crop by 30% to 61,684 mt (136 million lbs).

Almonds

Type

EUR/kg

USD/kg

Valencia, 12/14 mm, natural, Spain

4.80

5.05

Valencia, +14 mm, natural, Spain

5.00

5.26

Largueta, 13/14 mm, natural, Spain

6.50

6.83

California, SSR, 23/25, blanched, USA

5.65

5.94

FCA Spain

California braces for water stress

The prospects for the new crop are, by contrast, still highly encouraging in California and most analysts are confident that production will reach the anticipated 2.8 billion lbs. California is, however, bracing for the driest months in the year and water stress will become an issue. Farmers are already removing many almond trees in Federal water districts and as it is becoming less attractive to grow almonds this trend is expected to gain momentum after the harvest.

 

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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 blanched California 27-30 SSR
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price chart almonds natural Valencia 12-14 Spain

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