Walnuts Market /Crop Report
The Walnut Marketing Board announced the June Shipments at 22,132 inshell equivalent tons, about the same as last year. Inshell shipments were 1.8 million pounds, also same as last year. June Shelled shipments were 18.9 million pounds compared to 18.7 million pounds last June. Total Inshell equivalent shipments were 325,166 tons; 6,419 more than last year YTD totals.
Junes’ shipments insure that we will meet the Walnut Marketing Boards goal of 344,000 tons. In fact, we will most likely exceed it by several thousand tons.
According to industry officials, the recent twelve day record heat-wave damages to the states’ walnut crop may not be as bad as was feared. Relatively humid conditions and irrigation actions taken by the growers may have reduced losses. Normally, when there are extremely high temperatures for an extended period of time we would have severe sunburn, but so far, the sunburn losses seem to be limited to the earlier varieties.
However, we still have over a month to go before harvest and if we experience another extended period of hot weather, we could see serious damage to the crop. In any event, the packers have set their ‘subjective” crop estimate at 358,000 tons, 4,000 tons more than last year’s crop.
Again, strong shipments are keeping the market firm; with some strengthen over the past several weeks. The market for Light Halves & Pieces is $2.90 plus. Combination Halves and Pieces are $2.55. I believe the market has room to strengthen another ten cents before harvest; especially if we experience more high temperatures days prior to harvest.
The 2005 crop carry-over will be around 85,000 tons, 20,000 tons less than average. This coupled with a 358,000 ton crop will provide the industry with the same tonnage as last year. If this is the case, we sould expect a market similar to last year. I will keep you posted.