US almond prices fell to 20-year lows this week as concerns over large ending stocks weighed on markets ahead of harvest.
The Mintec Benchmark Prices for standard 5% almonds FAS US [Mintec Code: NAL1] were assessed at $1.40/lb on 3rd August 2023, down 7 cents/lb on the week and the lowest price for the Benchmark since January 2003.
Trading was reported at $1.43-1.45 in the first part of the week before falling to $1.40/lb during trading on Wednesday and Thursday.
The drop was put down to store clearing activity with some sellers who still possessed large volumes of standard 5% material looking to free up space ahead of harvest.
“I’ve got bins I need emptied to get stores ready to receive new crop. We are still in the same situation as the past couple of years. There have been minimal infrastructure investments due to the low prices and a large carryover. Unless I move what we already have, I won’t be able to store enough new crop once harvest is in full swing,” a US handler told Mintec.
Despite the low prices, the appetite for these supplies was mixed with holidays in Europe and ample supplies at destination, limiting demand.
“We sold some standards at $1.40.lb earlier in the week, but now we are sitting on offers at the same level, and we can’t find a buyer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see prices drop further unless buyers start engaging with the market,” a European trader disclosed to Mintec.
Looking further forward, market participants expect supply to continue to outweigh demand with an expectation of stocks close to the 800 million pound mark (read more here) and a USDA Objective Almond Measurement of 2.60 billion pounds placing total supply north of 3 billion pounds for the 2023/24 season.
“I don’t see much potential for prices to move significantly upward unless there is a large downward revision to crop production numbers. Realistically we are going to be stuck like this until December at a minimum; the carryout is simply too large,” a US exporter stated.
To stay up to date on developments in the almond markets, subscribe to the Mintec Weekly Almond Report by emailing Nuts@Mintecglobal.com. The report, which is released each Thursday, provides in-depth information on pricing and market dynamics.