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June shipments beat expectations as California’s sold position lags

July 13, 2022

California packers shipped a record amount of almonds for June, but remain in their worst sold position on record for this time of year, a new report released on Tuesday shows.

June shipments of 279 million lbs are up 26% from last June and beat even the more optimistic expectations. The Almond Board of California (ABC) released the latest shipment numbers as part of its June 2022 position report.

The latest position report showed plenty of good news for sellers. June current crop sales increased to 119 million lbs, up from 108 million lbs last June. New crop sales also rose, climbing to 107 million lbs in June from 95 million lbs last June.

“We’re trending positively,” a California packer said on Tuesday.

However, California’s sold position as a percentage of crop plus carry-in edged higher by only 3% month-on-month to 84%, leaving California in its lowest sold position on record for June. The state was 90% sold this time last year and 91% sold the year prior.

Except for August, California’s sold position has trailed its year-ago sold position every month this crop year. Pressure to sell current crop inventory will increase with the start of the new crop harvest less than a month away, participants said.

Shipments

June marked the fifth consecutive month that shipments increased month-on-month and the second consecutive month that California set a new record against the year-ago month.

Packers said it was easier to book containers in June, possibly because a drop in U.S. imports is resulting in more container availability. Many packers expected strong June shipments even before the number was released.

“June was the best month we’ve had, maybe in years,” a San Joaquin County packer said.

Shipments to most critical global markets increased.

Shipments to India showed the most significant jump, spiking 144% from last June to 39 million lbs. Year-to-Date (YTD) shipments to India are at 340 million lbs, 2 million lbs ahead of YTD shipments last year.

June shipments to Western Europe are up nearly 20% compared to last June, but YTD shipments to the region are trailing by 8% from last year. Shipments to China also increased though shipments to Japan fell.

Domestic shipments continued to disappoint. They fell slightly from May to June and are down about 1 million lbs from last June.  

New crop sales

Though new crop sales improved in June compared with last June, cumulative new crop sales are behind last year. New crop sales for May and June reached 236 million lbs, down 90 million lbs from last year. The state’s new crop sold position as a percent of the most recent USDA forecast is at 9% compared with 11% for the same months last year and 15% the year prior.

A Madera County packer said the report could spur new crop sales. “Now that this number has been released, I think we will take the reins off new crop,” the packer said.

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