2012 California Almond Crop is ~73% Shipped & Committed

March 8, 2013 – Year-To-Date shipments of California almonds continue to track as expected, flat to last year, limited by supply. Current year crop receipts are 1.865 billion pounds, 5% behind prior year, continuing to project a final total below 1.9 billion pounds.

Seven months into the almond industry’s fiscal year, ending inventories project to be less than 250 million lbs. The low ending inventory projection will drive prices upward as summer approaches and supplies tighten. The 2012 California crop is ~ 73% shipped & committed, with committed backlog of less than 90 days of global supply.

The U.S. is driving industry growth. Last month’s shipments were up 11% bringing the year to date increase to 8% over prior year, an increase of 23 million pounds. Export sales showed some signs of improvement last month increasing 5% over prior year, bringing the year-to-date total to -2% versus prior year.

European shipments for February were up 9% after a flat January. Year-to-date volumes for Europe moved closer to prior years level at -1%. Middle East shipments for February were up again, showing an increase of 36%, improving their year-to-date position to -16%.

Prices that peaked in the pre-bloom period and have softened since, should rebound as we approach summer.

The California Almond crop bloom is progressing to completion somewhat later than normal, with good weather prevailing for most of the bloom period. The majority of orchards around the state have moved past the mid-point of the bloom into the petal fall and jacket stages.

Look for current updates on the almond bloom, “In The Almond Orchard,” posted here as conditions change.