California walnut shipments in August up 14% on-year

September 15, 2022

U.S. walnut shipments in August, the final month of the 2021-2022 crop year, increased 14% month year-on year, boosted by a rollover of shipments from July when shutdowns at the Port of Oakland reduced throughput.

Shipments for August were 36,547 inshell equivalent short tons (ISEt), according to preliminary data in the California Walnut Board’s latest shipment report released on Wednesday.

However, combined July and August shipments were 66,516 ISEt, down 1% on the year-ago two-month period.

The uptick in August shipments means the 2022 carry-out stands at a record 136,673 ISEt, which packers will broadly regard as a success, given that earlier estimations had put it at 150,000 ISEt before a strong run of shipments between April and August.

New monthly sales were disappointing even though August is generally regarded as a slow month for business as handlers focus primarily on their preparations for the new harvest. Sales for August fell 43% month-on-month and 54% month year-on-year to 11,107 ISEt.

Domestic U.S. kernel shipments in August fell 6% month year-on-year to 18 million lbs, and crop year-to-date shipments fell to 195 million lbs, down 10% on the year.

However, kernel exports in August were up 36% month year-on-year to 12 million lbs, boosted by increased shipments to Germany, South Korea and the U.K.

August inshell shipments more than tripled month year-on-year to 4.5 million lbs, with crop year-to-date shipments rising to 256 million lbs, but 30% behind the year-ago period.

Turkey increased its U.S. inshell intake in August to 1.4 million lbs, a near fivefold increase on the previous year. Turkish buyers increased their purchases of 2021 crop U.S. inshell during the summer to take advantage of falling offers as packers moved to clear out their end-of-season stocks.

According to Stratamarkets data, Chandler JL CIF Turkey prices started to slide after topping out at $1.16/lb at the end of May. Stratamarkets assessed the item on a CIF Turkey basis at $0.95/lb on Thursday, 18% lower than the end-May peak.

The second largest destination for U.S. inshell shipments in August was the U.A.E. with 837,748 lbs, flat month year-on-year.