The March Position Report was released on Tuesday, April 11th. The report brings the industry some more good news.
Year to date 2022 crop receipts now total 2,540,800,643 pounds, which is 12.43% below the 2,901,503,618 pounds received last season. The roughly 18-million-pound increase makes this the largest March in history for receipts. This is not a reflection of the overall crop size but highlights how some handlers are choosing to store product in their stockyards longer to manage inventories. At this time, the crop seems like it will land somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.55 to 2.56 billion pounds.
Total shipments for the month were 281.07 million pounds. This is an increase of 14.7% when compared to last year's 244.98 million pounds. This is also a new record for the month of March and made this the second largest shipping month overall in history. Export shipments came to 214.63 million pounds, which is up 24.0% from last year. Domestic shipments landed at 66.44 million pounds. This is down 7.5% versus last season's 71.84 million pounds. We now have three record shipping months in a row and are 6.85% ahead of this time last year on total shipments. The strong shipments have continued to chip away at the estimated carryout. Projections look like the 2022 crop carryout will be somewhere between 600-700 million pounds.
New sales for the month were 143.6 million pounds compared to 219.8 million pounds sold at this time last year. Based on a 2.55 billion pound crop, the year to date sold position is 73.3%. This time last year the industry was 71.3% sold.
The 2023 bloom is now behind us, but due to the slow progression of the crop it is taking longer than expected to estimate yields. We know that the crop is going to be light this year based on what we are seeing in the orchards, but it is still unclear how many of the nutlets on the trees will still be there when we get to harvest. This uncertainty has brought almond trades to a crawl, which was reflected in the monthly sales number. Things should start to pick up once we start receiving some of the industry's independent crop estimates over the next few weeks and the USDA subjective forecast on May 12th. Until then, prices are holding strong and seeing a little upward pressure following the strong position report.