The September Position Report was released on Thursday, October 12th. This was a strong report that brought some consistent and positive numbers to the industry. Continuing to sell and ship product at a steady pace is the best way to ensure that prices will continue to climb throughout the season.
The year-to-date 2023 crop receipts now total 625.4 million pounds, which is 36% below the 978.5 million pounds received to date last season. At this point it's still hard to determine how much of the reduced crop receipts are due to the delayed harvest and how much is due to a smaller overall crop. The debate will have to continue for now. A few more months of deliveries will help make things much clearer.
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 217.7 million pounds. This is an increase of 15.5% when compared to last year's 188.4 million pounds. The record for September still stands at 261 million pounds set back in 2020. Export shipments came to 154.8 million pounds, which is up 13.3% from last year. Domestic shipments landed at 62.8 million pounds. This is up 21.5% versus last season's 51.7 million pounds. The first two shipping months of this season have been good, but at this rate we are on track for another 2.6 billion pound year of total shipments (similar to 2021 & 2022 totals). The industry will need a few big shipping months sprinkled in so that we aren't just hoping for a smaller crop to solve the carryout issue.
New sales for the month were 268.9 million pounds compared to 240.2 million pounds sold at this time last year. The year to date sold position sits at 33.0%. This is slightly ahead of last year's 32.2% sold position. The great sales for this month should translate into some strong shipping numbers next month.
As we near the end of the 2023 harvest the industry is still grappling with the quality issues that have plagued us this season. Many handlers are still reluctant to sell significant volumes of pollinator varieties until they can get some more product run and gain a better understanding of what they have to work with. This is starting to frustrate buyers, but it has helped keep kernel prices on an upward trajectory. On the other hand, inshell is seeing a bit of downward pressure at the moment. Shipments to India were expected to be around 1,300 containers in September, but there were more than 1,600 containers shipped. This oversupply is only temporary and shouldn't take too long to work through. Buyers are using this as an opportunity to try and push prices down.
Overall, this is a positive report and will keep things headed in the right direction. The road to better prices is still paved with strong sales/shipments and a smaller carryout.