The August Position Report was released yesterday giving the industry a final snapshot of the 2018 season and a glimpse into early 2019 deliveries. Total shipments for the month came in at 147.73 million pounds. This is down 4.2% from last year, but still a respectable number based on the low inventories and later start to the 2019 harvest. Domestic and Export shipments were both lower this month when compared to last season. Domestic was down 6.9% (62.45MM) and Exports were down 2.2% (85.28MM).
The loss/exempt percentage has been finalized for the 2018 season at 2.02% giving us a final carry-out of 318.3 million pounds. This is down 11.34 percent from the previous year.
Based on the 2.2 billion pound estimate the 2019 crop is currently 29% sold. Most buyers have outright rejected the 2.2 billion pound estimate and are working off of a 2.4 billion pound crop size for this season. If you use 2.4 billion as the denominator the crop is 27% sold. Regardless of which number you use we are ahead of 2018 which was 26% sold at this time last year.
Harvest continues to progress throughout the state. The buyers are now receiving reports from handlers confirming that the Nonpareil crop is up 10-20% in the South and Westside of the Valley. Reports from the Central and Northern regions are that yields are anywhere from flat to down 10%. With the reports of a larger crop we have seen prices slip by roughly $.10 per pound in the last week. Price drops are always a tough pill to swallow, but with this latest decrease we have seen some movement return to the market and have been able to resume booking orders at more of a normal rate. The fact that buyers are returning to the table will hopefully stabilize pricing over the coming weeks.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your Grower Representatives