Tuesday, April 17, 2007

R.L.”Pete“ Turner April 17, 2007



The Walnut Marketing Board announced the March shipments at 28,028 inshell equivalent tons, 4,070 tons more than last year. Inshell shipments were 4.8 million pounds, 2.8 million pounds more than last March. Shelled shipments were 22.0 million pounds, 3.3 million pounds more than last year. Total inshell equivalent year to date shipments were 276,252 tons; 4,705 tons less than last year.

Although the shipments reports show we are 4,705 tons behind last year, this could be mis-leading. The Walnut Marketing Board and the industry forecasted the 2006 crop “shell out rate” of 42.9 percent. However, most in the industry now believe the actual “shell out rate” is closer to 40.0 percent. If this were the case, then the shelled products would have utilized an additional 15,600 inshell tons on year to date shipments. This would position the total inshell equivalent shipments at 292,000 tons, 11,000 tons ahead of last year. However, the final “shell out rate” number will not be known until end of year. In any event, based on my sales forecast, this would give us a carry-over of only 52,000 tons, the lowest in the past twenty years.

It is still too early to project the 2007 crop size but weather has been favorable and the crop is on the up cycle year. However, if we go by past history and crop trends, we could expect the new crop to be around 275,000 tons.


The inshell market is virtually over and the inventories depleted. The last Jumbo Hartley sales were at $1.15 and Large Hartley’s at $1.10.

The Shelled market remains firm and active with recent trading of LHP at $3.15 and CHP at $2.95. Baker material is still a little volatile with most trades taken place on both sides of $2.40. Mediums Pieces and smaller material are between $0.5 and $0.15 higher then the large material.

The industry is still coming up short of small material and must chop larger product in order to meet demand. This will remain a problem as the new walnut varieties and improved walnut shellers produce a much higher percentage of halves and large material. Thus, because of chopping meal loss, this product will continue to market higher than larger material.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments……


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