R.L. “Pete” Turner May 16, 2011
Again, walnut shipments continue to set monthly records with April shipments reaching 32,764 inshell equivalent tons compared to 29,001 tons last April. This puts the total shipments to date at 416,139 tons, just 86,000 tons short of the entire 2010 crop tonnage (502,000 tons).
Based on my next four month forward forecast, I put the 2010 crop carry-over at 36,000 tons, 5,000 tons less than last year. However, this is based on the CWB official shell out rate of 43.5%, which could be adjusted depending on the final walnut inventories on September 1st.
Turkey/UAR and China/Hong Kong continues to lead the import of California walnuts. China/Hong Kong year to date inshell shipments reached 98.1 million pounds compared to 41.1 million pounds last year. Although Turkey/UAR got a late start, they have imported 69.0 million pounds of inshell, compared to 54.8 at this time last year.
Export shelled shipments have reached 121,358 million pounds, 15.6 million pounds ahead of last year. Domestic shelled shipments were 117,887 pounds, down 11.9 million pounds. The combined total tonnage for shelled products is 239.2 million pounds, 3.7 million ahead of last year.
At this stage, the 2011 walnut crop looks good, however, it appears that some of the 3rd. set on Tulare’s have been damaged hot winds several weeks ago. Not sure if this is the case in other parts of the growing regions, but the four orchards I inspected had this type of damage. The Chandlers looked good as well as the Vina’s and Hartley’s.
Although we have had a great growing season with plenty of water and chill hours, I still believe the crop will be down from last year’s record crop (502,000 tons).
I believe the Harleys tonnage will get back to normal and will be down 10,000 tons from last year (70,000 tons). Chandler tonnage may be up somewhat but there is a good chance that the Tulare’s will be down again.
In any event, it is still too early to make a calculated estimate; but we will have a better idea of the crop size when the packers issue their “subjective” estimate the end of July.
California Walnut Shipments Recap (000)
Month (April) 2009/10 Year to Date 2010/11 Year to Date Percent
In-shell (lbs.) 3,823 200,440 4,639 282,288 40.1%
Shelled (lbs.) 23,947 235,594 26,487 239,246 0.02%
Total Tons 29,001 336,729 32,764 416,139 13.5%
Inquiries have slowed down from last month and very little new trading is taken place because of low inventories.
The market for Light Halves and Pieces continue in the $4.30 range with Combo material approximately $0.15 less. In-shell Chandlers are still in the $2.00 area with Tulare’s and Howard’s $0.05- $0.10 less. Not sure of the Jumbo/Large Hartley’s as very little trading has taken place over the past several months. The last price I heard was $1.75.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Tulare’s 5/10/11(note burnt ends on the tip’s of the 3rd set)
1st set 2nd set 3rd set