The December Position Report, released by the Almond Board of California on 12th January, showed December almond shipments reached 206 million pounds, an increase of 9% year-on-year (y-o-y) and only 2% below the five-year average.
The figures were above average industry expectations prior to the release, with the majority of market participants surveyed by Mintec ahead of the release of the report estimating December shipments in the range of 185-195 million pounds.
New sales picked up compared to historical averages, with 235 million pounds of sales recorded over December. This was below levels in 2021/22 (-12 million pounds) and 2020/21 (-74 million pounds), but above the five-year average (+21 million pounds). The industry sold position continued to lag at 52% sold, down 4 percentage points on the year and 9 percentage points below the five-year average.
Looking forward, there was a concern among sellers that unless shipments pick up, ending stocks could remain close to 800 million pounds. One US exporter said to Mintec, “if we ship the same volume as last season [2.6 billion pounds], ending stocks won’t be reduced to a manageable figure. We need strong shipments in combination with lower crop receipts to make a significant dent to stocks this year.”