The Mintec price of California walnuts delivered to the UK (cost and freight UK) continues declining, with prices down 3% m-o-m and 15% since the beginning of the year as of 10th June, at USD 6.61 per kg, influenced by subdued demand and strong supply.
The walnut shipments from California, an indication of demand, were down 12% y-o-y in May, at 35,856 tonnes, with exports showing a decrease of 7% y-o-y and domestic shipments falling by 17% compared to May 2019. The year-to-date shipments (September 2019 – May 2020) totalled 543,313 tonnes, 7% less than last year, indicating weaker demand from the supply chain.
On the supply side, the market sentiment has been further affected by expectations of a bumper 2020 crop, potentially exceeding 700,000 tonnes. In addition, the trade sources speculate that supply in the current season could rise above the earlier official estimate. Last year, the USDA pegged the 2019 California walnut crop at 630,000 tonnes, down7% compared to 2018.
The latest inventory levels from 31st March show an increase of 28% on in-shells and a marginal increase of less than 1% on shelled walnuts.