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Californian rainfall to impact Australian almond market

Riverina almond growers have been poised to see prices return to average next year due to an expected shortfall in US almond production. The market had rebounded by almost 25 per cent in recent months, off the back of the lowest prices seen in a decade.

However, Almond Board of Australia chief executive officer Tim Jackson said even before the heavens opened in the US the market had started to falter due to ongoing freight challenges.

"There's a lot of uncertainty around when stock can leave the port and when it's going to arrive at its destination," Jackson said. "As we enter a period of volatility in pricing, exporters are in a tricky situation where they're selling [almonds] at one price and then if it takes undue time to arrive at the other end, there can be uncertainty around the acceptability of the value when it gets [there]."

There have been reports of some regions of California receiving close to 140 millimetres of rainfall within 24 hours. Jackson said while this was good news for US growers long-term, this season's almond crop could be further reduced if there was water damage. "The impact on the market in the short term is a little bit unclear at this stage."

Despite the recent news out of the US and increased shipping costs, the industry was still hopeful that 2022 prices would return to the 10-year average of around $7.40 a kilogram.


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