It was a busy news week in the almond industry. The April Position Report was released on Thursday, April 11th. This was followed by the NASS Subjective Estimate on Friday, April 12th. We have had a run of strong position reports over the last few months, but all good things eventually come to an end. The slow sales cycle finally caught up with us, resulting in some lackluster shipping numbers. The Subjective Estimate landed at 2.5 billion pounds; this was towards the high end of most industry estimates.
Year to date 2022 crop receipts now total 2,562,537,458 pounds, which is 11.75% below the 2,904,778,079 pounds received last season. The roughly 23-million-pound increase in April was a bit of a surprise. To put things into perspective, there were only 3 million pounds reported last April. This continues to illustrate that there were some handlers that left product in their stockyard much longer than normal to help manage their inventories. At this time, the crop seems like it will land somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.57 and 2.58 billion pounds.
2023 Crop Estimates
TNT- 2.29 billion lbs.
Wonderful- 2.35 billion lbs.
Bountiful- 2.66 billion lbs.
NASS Subjective- 2.50 billion pounds.
Total shipments for the month were 197.26 million pounds. This is a decrease of 19.6% when compared to last year's 245.24 million pounds. Export shipments came to 140.44 million pounds, which is down 23.2% from last year. Domestic shipments landed at 56.82 million pounds. This is down 9.0% versus last season's 62.43 million pounds. We lost a little ground this month and are now only 3.49% ahead of this time last year on total shipments. It looked like the carryout could get as low as 600 million pounds, but with the slow sales and recent drop in shipments, it's looking like the carryout will be somewhere between 700-800 million pounds.
New sales for the month were 114.7 million pounds compared to 168.0 million pounds sold at this time last year. Based on a 2.57-billion-pound crop, the year to date sold position is 76.3%. This time last year the industry was 76.0% sold.
The market has been fairly quiet since the report was released. We should know more next week as the market digests all this data. At this point it looks there might be some downward pressure on pricing due to the increase in estimated carryout and the low sales volumes. In my opinion, the 2.5-billion-pound Subjective Estimate came in a bit high but isn't outside the realm of possibility. Until the Objective Measurement comes out in July, the industry will be operating off a crop size between 2.3-2.5 billion pounds.