The weather in California this week has been perfect for the almond bloom. While there is some rain in expected tomorrow, overall the projection is for light showers and then back to low 60’s for the next 8 days. Travelling through the valley we can see bee hives staged in preparation of the bloom. We are now seeing red tips on the trees and bloom is right around the corner. In the southernmost part of the state, some of the early varieties are already showing flowers.
Today the Almond Board of California released the January shipment report. The real new story is that crop receipts surpassed the 3 billion pound estimate to 3.025 billion. An additional 157 million pounds was received last month. If half as much is still yet to be received, this crop may reach 3.1 billion pounds.
For the first time this year shipments were lower. After six straight record months of shipments it was inevitable. January was down -12% from last year’s 220.5 million lbs to 194.3 million lbs. Domestic shipments were off the most compared to last year, from 71 million pounds last year to 58.8 million this year, -17.4%. While exports went from 149 million last year to 135 million in January, -9% lower.
The industry is facing the worst logistical nightmare we have ever seen, with constant delays and rolls at the ports. This is the main reason export shipments are not significantly higher.
The industry now at 1.478 billion pounds shipped and is 16.2% ahead of last year at this time. The industry needs to move the needle and ship essentially this same amount through July to avoid a huge carryover. Currently we expect a 525 million pound carry over with 2.865 billion pounds shipped. Now that crop receipts have moved above 3.0 billion pounds, all else will need to also increase.