Almond prices hit 8-month high on strong December shipments

January 19, 2024

2 mins read

Prices firmed in the US almond markets following a strong shipping performance in the December position report, which was released on 11 January.

In the first assessment since the report, the Mintec Benchmark Prices for standard 5% almonds FAS US rose to $1.72/lb on 18 January, the highest value for the benchmark since May 2023. [Mintec Code: NAL1]

Despite the rise, prices still remain well below the cost of production for growers with one handler saying, “hopefully we can see a gradual return to profitability over the course of the year and start the new season being able to pay bills again.”

 

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Shipments for December 2023 totalled 229 million pounds, the second highest December figure on record and a 11.2% year-on-year increase.

The figure was in line with industry expectations with market participants surveyed by Mintec prior to the release estimating December shipments in the range of 215-260 million pounds, with most respondents returning figures of 225-240 million pounds.

The full results of the Mintec Pre-Position Report Survey can be found via this link.

Season-to-date (August-December) shipments sat at 1.14 billion pounds, 10% above the same point last season and the highest shipments for this point in the season since the record shipment season of 2020/21.

 

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Crop receipts came in at 2.23 billion pounds and based on the current situation most market participants were expecting final figures to come in 2.30-2.40 billion pounds.

I wouldn’t expect more than 150 million pounds to come in over the next few reports and I wouldn’t be surprised to see as low as 50 million pounds over the next few months. With loss and exempt likely to be at around 4% by the end of the season, marketable production is going to struggle to get north of 2.30 billion pounds,” a US handler said to Mintec.

A production figure of 2.35 billion pounds less a 4% loss and exempt figure would place marketable production for the 2023/24 crop at 2.26 billion pounds.

Crop receipts are low enough that it is starting to look like we might manage a return to profitability next season, if we can eat into the carryout and bring it down to 400-500 million pounds. Hopefully we can finally bring supply and demand back into balance by the end of this season,” a US exporter stated.

 

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Aidan Wright
Aidan Wright

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