One of the first forecasts of California’s 2021 almond crop was smaller than many market observers expected.
The widely anticipated estimate from U.S.-based Terra Nova Trading and U.K.-based GLM Trading, released on April 14, puts California’s 2021 crop at 2.8 billion pounds – 300 million pounds lower than the 3.1-billion-pound current crop.
Packers in California increased their offers following the release of the forecast. All 17 items assessed by Stratamarkets showed gains on the week.
“In January, people had really been thinking 2.9 to 3 billion pounds,” said a U.K.-based trader from a rival firm. “2.8 is on the lower end of what they could have said.”
A packer in California echoed that view:
“It was a good number for the industry,” said the packer, adding that the forecast was more bullish than he expected. “I’m excited to see that.”
However, another U.K.-based trader said the forecast is unlikely to provide price support beyond the immediate period.
“This gives California an excuse and confidence to raise prices,” he said. “But fundamentally, it doesn’t change anything.”