The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has recently published its 2022/23 almond production estimate for Spain, the largest EU almond producer, pegging the output at 68,273 tonnes, a decrease of 27% compared to the previous season.
The production decline is primarily attributed to frost damage that occurred in early-April. Temperatures dropped to as low as -5°C [23°F] in some key growing areas in the north of the country over the weekend of 2nd and 3rd April, although production in the southern areas was unimpacted. In addition to the frost, drought and fungal disease have further hindered the output, according to the USDA.
Despite the decrease in production, the Mintec prices of Spanish almonds have failed to increase since the frost damage. Prices have been weighed down by the oversupply in the US, as its largest carry-in stock on record is expected to have pushed almond supply in California above 3 billion lbs for 2022/23.
Starting stocks for the 2022/23 season have been confirmed by the Almond Board of California at 837 million pounds, up 38% from the previous record achieved in 2021/22. Of this, the majority is thought to be smaller-sized material, with a large proportion only fit for industrial usage.
The Mintec Benchmark Prices for US almonds, standard 5% FAS US, were down 3 US cents in the week of 13th October, at USD 1.60/lbs. The benchmark has fallen by 27%, compared to the same time last year.