The USDA Objective Almond Measurement, released on 12th July following a delay from the original release date of 7th July, came in at 2.60 billion pounds, up 4% from the Subjective estimate in May and 1% above last season’s measurement.
This was higher than industry consensus ahead of the release, with the majority of market participants surveyed by Mintec in the first week of July expecting a figure of 2.30-2.50 billion pounds.
Despite poor bloom conditions and lower nut set, kernel weight was reported to have increased on the year (+14% y-o-y), leading to market participants to suggest that the availability of larger-sized kernels will improve in the coming season.
“Its’ amazing what being able to irrigate enough will do. We have seen good sized nuts on the trees, and the USDA report has confirmed this. The tightness we’ve seen in larger sizes the past few seasons is likely to ease,” a US handler stated.
Combined with a potential carryout figure of 750 million pounds (or higher), this would place availability for the 2023/24 season at over 3.3 billion pounds. Several market participants suggested the expected oversupply for the coming season would keep prices below the break-even point for growers, with a handler saying, “the price decline we are seeing following the release is going to kill off a lot of smaller growers. Banks seem to be circling like hawks, and a lot of people can’t afford to lose money for another year. I’d expect to see a lot of foreclosure signs on farms throughout next season.”
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.