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May 2023 Position Report

May 15, 2023

As we approach the start of the 2023 crop year, the industry deals will lower prices, spotty demand, and continued confusion on the size of the upcoming crop.

The May Position Report was released on Friday, June 9th. The sales and shipping numbers were less than extraordinary this month, but that was to be expected. Activity within the market had been fairly low over the last few months as buyers debated the 2023 crop size and evaluated their demand needs.

Year to date 2022 crop receipts now total 2,566,241,088 pounds, which is 11.82% below the 2,910,220,480 pounds received last season. With only a 3 million pound increase this month, it seems that larger than normal late season receipts have come to an end. Hopefully this is an indication that all the stockyards around the state are finally empty. The 2022 crop is still projected to land around 2.57 billion pounds. The industry is currently using 2023 crop estimates between 2.3 and 2.5 billion pounds. We will get our next and final crop forecast when the NASS Objective Estimate comes out next month. Please note that the USDA has rescheduled the release of the Objective to Wednesday, July 12th at 9am.

Current 2023 Crop Estimates
TNT- 2.29 billion lbs
Wonderful- 2.35 billion lbs
Bountiful- 2.66 billion lbs
NASS Subjective- 2.50 billion lbs

Total shipments for the month were 195.67 million pounds. This is a decrease of 24.0% when compared to last year’s 257.55 million pounds. Export shipments came to 140.73 million pounds, which is down 27.2% from last year. Domestic shipments landed at 54.94 million pounds. This is down 14.3% versus last season’s 64.14 million pounds. With the last two shipping months being slow, we are now just 0.25% ahead of this time last year’s total shipments. At this rate the carryout looks like it will end up around 760 million pounds.

New sales for the month were 113.98 million pounds compared to 116.80 million pounds. Based on a 2.57-billion-pound crop, the year to date sold position is 79.7%. This time last year the industry was 79.3% sold.

Following the release of the May position report we have seen prices decline roughly $0.05 to $0.10 per pound, but trade volume does seem to be picking up when compared to the last few months of inactivity. Pricing should remain relatively flat from now to the Objective Estimate. The size of the estimate will then determine the market conditions over the coming months. Many of us are seeing a very light crop in orchards as we travel throughout the valley. Let’s hope the Objective brings us an accurate representation of how far off the 2023 crop is and gets prices moving in the right direction.