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Jan. 2024 Position Report

January 15, 2024

January 2024 presented a month of strong sales and shipments for the California almond industry. With the 2024 bloom right around the corner, the eyes of the industry are starting to look towards the next crop season.

The January Position Report was released on Friday, February 9th. The report delivered another month of strong sales and shipments. While just about everything within the report was positive for California growers, the one negative is the larger than expected crop receipts. The 163 million pounds received last month made this the second largest January on record.

The year-to-date 2023 crop receipts now total 2.39 billion pounds, which is 3.39% below the 2.48 billion pounds received to date last season. With January deliveries exceeding projections by roughly 50 million pounds, the new 2023 crop estimate is now at 2.45 billion pounds. However, the record inedible percentage that California is facing this year will leave us with a smaller marketable crop. This also leaves the industry with an overabundance of disposition production that will be a challenge to get rid of.

Total shipments for the month were 235.9 million pounds. This is an increase of 2.7% when compared to last year’s 229.7 million pounds making this the largest January on record. Export shipments came to 173.0 million pounds, which is up 6.1% from last year. Domestic shipments landed at 62.9 million pounds. This is down 5.4% versus last season’s 66.5 million pounds. California is still on track to ship around 2.7 billion pounds of product this year. That keeps us on the path to an industry carryout of 500 million pounds.

New sales for the month were 235.9 million pounds compared to 350.1 million pounds sold at this time last year. While this year looks quite a bit lower than last year, it’s still a strong month of sales. January of 2023 happens to be the largest sales month in the history of the industry. The year to date sold position sits at 63.0% based on a crop size of 2.45 billion pounds. This is slightly ahead last year’s 62.8% sold position.

Overall, it was another great report, but it’s still unclear at this time if we will see any price increase in the coming weeks. Everyone is looking ahead to the 2024 bloom and how that will affect the market going forward. All the buyers are expecting and hoping for a large crop to keep pricing depressed. But as we know, there are a lot of weather events that can happen between now and harvest. Whether this year’s crop is large or small, we need to keep selling product to get supply and demand back in place.