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Almonds: US exports cannot keep up

March 15, 2022 2:29 PM, Der AUDITOR
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SACRAMENTO. US almond exports are far from recovery, as export volumes in February were again 11% behind the same month last year. Domestic shipments also declined this time. Growers, meanwhile, are still trying to determine the frost damage.

Total exports down by 20%

In February 2022, about 90,000 mt of shelled and unshelled US almonds were shipped domestically and overseas; this time last year, exports were 106,235 mt. While demand from overseas was weakening, at least domestic demand had remained stable in recent months. Now, however, domestic shipments also declined by 24% to 24,213 mt, and Germany, one of the top five buyers of US almonds, also reduced imports by a good quarter year-on-year to 4,985 mt. Shipments to China/Hong Kong are also steadily declining. In contrast, higher shipments in February were recorded to Spain (+13% to 9,514 mt), India (+2% to 9,189 mt) and the Netherlands (+51% to 4,972 mt).

For the season as a whole, domestic shipments fell by 3% to 201,910 mt and export volumes declined by a good 20% to 450,429 mt. Many large consumer countries significantly reduced their imports in a year-on-year comparison, with the reason being not only anticipatory purchases but also, above all, delivery delays due to a lack of supply capacities and labour shortages.

US almonds, export and domestic demand* in mt

Country

2020/21

2021/22

Diff.

USA

208,977

201,910

-3.4%

India

118,897

97,163

-18.3%

Spain

59,711

44,856

-24.9%

China/Hong Kong

57,100

41,432

-27.4%

Germany

35,688

26,970

-24.4%

UAE

33,008

26,612

-19.4%

Japan

21,309

23,676

11.1%

Netherlands

22,844

23,080

1.0%

Italy

25,037

20,449

-18.3%

South Korea

20,167

18,994

-5.8%

Others

173,938

127,198

-26.9%

Total

776,675

652,339

-16.0%

Almond Board of California; Aug-Feb
*shelled and unshelled

Frost damage expected in the coming weeks

The official crop estimate for the 2021/2022 season was originally 1.27 million mt of shelled almonds, but according to the latest data from the Almond Board of California, production has already reached 1.31 million mt. Market players shared estimates of up to 1.315 million mt. The still second-highest US almond crop ever, combined with lower exports, could ensure that end-of-season stocks set a new record.

In parts of California's growing regions, the flowering period for the coming crop is over and farmers are trying to categorise the damage caused by recent frosts. “I’ve seen damage reports anywhere from 5 to 90% of flowers in our area,” Blue Diamond Almonds quote Butte County farmer Samantha Lewis in their latest report. According to her, it is still difficult to predict the crop outcome at this stage. Blue Diamond Almonds add that the trees will shed excess fruit in the coming weeks, and only then will it be possible to see what will be left for the crop. The frost may have affected the crop very differently from region to region.

Almonds, USA

Type

EUR/kg

Carmel, SSR, 20/22

4.60

Carmel, Supreme, 22/24

4.65

Non Pareil, Extra No 1, 30/32

5.10

Independence, Supreme, 25/27

4.60

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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