Demand Growth Continues to Surprise Industry
This year, California will successfully absorb an almond crop that is 400 million pounds larger than the industry has ever grown. To put this increase in perspective, it is similar in size to the entire California pistachio or walnut crops.
Demand growth continues to surprise the industry. In April, California shipments were 149 million pounds. For those counting, we nearly achieved eight consecutive months where we exceeded the historic 150 million pound threshold. The 17% year-over-year increase represents a new record for April and pushes YTD shipments to 15.5% above the prior year.
The Commitments number is 28% higher than last year. April commitments of 125 million pounds reduces the uncommitted 2011 crop to 356 million pounds or only 16% of the 2011 supply, indicating the strong shipments trend should continue.
Almond supplies are tightening going into the summer, with rising prices reflecting shortages in many varieties and sizes.
Continuing the long-term trend, global expansion in almond consumption continues to be based on a solid foundation of robust growth across the major geographic regions. In the U.S., the market has reached a 7% YTD increase; Europe continues at an 8% YTD growth level; the Asia/Pacific region is at a 30% growth rate and has already surpassed last year’s full-year volumes; The Middle/East Africa has also surged to a 27% YTD growth, also surpassing last year’s full-year shipments.