Almond Crop Estimate 7 May 08
1.46 Billion Lbs—that’s the almonds crop estimate released today by the Almond Board and USDA Calif Ag Statistics Service compiled from a grower survey of 251 growers representing 18% of the acreage. The estimated yield of 2212 lbs per acre on 660,000 estimated bearing acres would give us the 3rd record crop in a row and a yield just short of last year’s 2241 lbs/acre record.
Most in the industry were expecting an estimate in the 1.3 to 1.4 billion lbs range, so this estimate is a surprise on the high side. There may be some softening of prices in the short run in the Calif varieties. Nonpareil are hard to find now, so I would not expect and price reductions. In the long run, I expect the market can handle this crop size. We have a history of shipping more than expected when supply is available and prices are reasonable as they are now. Almonds are the lowest priced tree nut and many of the others are over 3 and 4 USD/lb.
Tomorrow we have a position report with April shipments. At that time, I’ll make another report with some crop inventory projections and comments on price reactions to the crop estimate.
Best regards, Ned