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Record US January almond shipments expected

Oversupply dampens coming almond bloom in California

In Kern County it's hard to know what a good outcome would even look like this year as the almond bloom approaches. Such an oversupply has piled up that almond prices actually declined last month. A slew of storms made clear that California's drought would at least ease, raising expectations for greater production at a time local growers are already losing money.

No one's calling for bad weather that could interrupt the upcoming pollination, or a deep cold that could freeze fertilized buds before they can form into nutlets, as happened last year, significantly limiting Northern California's almond harvest.

Richard Waycott, president and CEO of the Almond Board of California: "We're not looking for a super bumper crop.” The uncertainty during what is otherwise a time of hope has put an uncharacteristic cloud of apprehension over Kern's single-largest crop by total farmland.

Market participants surveyed by Mintec in the first week of February were expecting record shipment levels ahead of the January position report, which is due for release on 9th February. Estimates for January almond shipments were reported in the range of 200-235 million pounds, with most market participants returning figures of 220-225 million pounds. If realised, this would place shipments at the same level or higher with the current January shipment record of 220.5 million pounds, recorded in January 2020.


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