The October 2023 Position Report was released on Friday, November 10th. Prior to the release of this report the industry was expecting a decent shipping number. Many felt the sales numbers would be down when compared to the last few months. Thankfully, those sales estimates were a little too conservative and the report exceeded expectations in both new sales and total shipments. This continues to extend California's streak of strong reports for the 2023 crop year. This also keeps the industry on track to chip away at the larger carry out that has plagued us for the last couple of years.
The year-to-date 2023 crop receipts now total 1.33 billion pounds, which is 19.5% below the 1.66 billion pounds received to date last season. The fact that the crop is most likely going to fall short of the 2.6 billion objective estimate is finally starting to sink in with buyers and customers. How short the crop will be is still to be determined. With the crop being delayed, yields being down, and this season's quality issues, it is going to take a few more months to get a clear picture of the 2023 total crop size.
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.
NASS Objective- 2.60 billion lbs.
Total shipments for the month were 247.4 million pounds. This is an increase of 15.3% when compared to last year's 214.61 million pounds. The record for October still stands at 309 million pounds set back in 2020. Export shipments came to 190.4 million pounds which is up 27.7% from last year. Domestic shipments landed at 57.1 million pounds. This is down 13.0% versus last season's 65.6 million pounds. This year California is averaging 225.7 million pounds shipped per month. If we maintain that pace, we will ship a total of 2.7 billion pounds during this season. That would leave the industry with a carryout between 400-700 million pounds, all depending on the final size of the crop.
New sales for the month were 250.7 million pounds compared to 243.5 million pounds sold at this time last year. The year to date sold position sits at 40.5%. This is slightly ahead of last year's 39.4% sold position.
This report should help strengthen almond kernel prices from $0.03 to $0.05 per pound while inshell prices look like they will remain flat for the time being. India is claiming that they are in a temporary oversupply due to 1,600 containers being shipped in September, followed by another 1,500 containers shipping in October. Overall, demand from India is expected to remain strong, they just need to work through their current quantities. Over the next few months, we should see the steady price rise continue, as long as sales and shipments continue to maintain a pace that chips away at the large carryout. The next events that could cause significant price changes will be after the first of the year when we have a better idea of the final crop size and in late February when we get our first look at 2024 crop bloom. Until then, California will need to keep selling and shipping almonds to keep prices moving in the right direction.