Californian almond production is set to reach a record 3 billion Ibs in the 2020/21 marketing year, according to the Objective Measurement Report released by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) earlier in July. The production estimate is unchanged from the previous forecast released in May this year. If achieved, the 3 billion Ibs projection would represent an 18% year-on-year (y-o-y) production growth.
The expected increase is driven by an expansion in production area, with the almond bearing acreage in California estimated to expand by 7% y-o-y in 2020/21, to 1.26 million acres. Supported with favourable weather conditions during the flowering in February, the overall yield is anticipated to reach 2,380 Ibs per acre, up 10% y-o-y and the highest yield since 2011 when output exceeded 2 billion Ibs for the first time.
The anticipated uplift in production has been the main driver behind the recent slide in prices, with the Mintec Benchmark Price for California almonds down 1.5% in the four weeks to 8th July and down 38% since the beginning of the year. Prices are have also declined by 41%, compared to the same time last year.