The USDA has recently published California’s 2021 almond acreage estimate, pegging the production area at 1.64m acres, an increase of 2.5% y-o-y. This comprises 1.32m acres of bearing acreage and 320,000 acres of non-bearing. The agency revised the bearing acreage down from the previous estimate of 1.33m acres. Preliminary forecasts for 2022 suggest that the bearing acreage will rise by additional 50,000 acres, to 1.37m acres.
In the latest Land IQ estimate published on 2nd May, the bearing acreage for 2022 is initially forecast at 1.34m acres, up from 1.31m acres in 2021. The Land IQ projects that almond trees will be removed on 59,732 acres of land in 2022, up from 56,949 acres in 2021.
In April, Terra Nova published this year’s first production estimate for the 2022/23 campaign. The company forecasts the upcoming 2022/23 harvest to reach 2.9bn lbs, relatively steady compared to the current 2021/22 campaign (2.9bn lbs in receipts recorded from August 2021 to March 2022). The first official estimate, USDA’s Subjective Forecast, will be published shortly, on 12th May.
Meanwhile, the Mintec Benchmark Prices for industrial grade standard 5% almonds (FAS US) declined by 4% in the four-week period to 5th May, to USD 1.75/lb, and down 6% y-o-y. Prices have been pressured by concerns over ample availability in California, coupled with demand uncertainty following the war in Ukraine. Soaring production costs and escalating drought in California provide upside risk to prices.