WALNUT MARKET/CROP REPORT
The final California 2013 walnut crop has been set at 490,554 tons, 5,000 tons less than the 2012 crop.
The Chandler crop came in at 226,055 tons compared to 207,413 last year. Howards was 69,577 tons compared to 60,259 tons from the 2012 crop. The Tulare tonnage was 63,235 tons, about 4,000 tons less than last year.
As expected, the Hartley crop was down about 5,000 tons (52,089 tons) which I believe is a record low tonnage in decades.
It is still too early to report on the upcoming 2014 crop but there are some concerns regarding the California water conditions. Although the Central Valley received a nice storm last week which resulted in several inches of rainfall, California is still more than 50% of normal. However, there is another weather front forecasted for this weekend and hopefully, we will see some additional rainfall from this storm also.
Again, not sure how the drought will affect the 2014 crop, but it would be a good guess that it will not help...
January inshell shipments were 22.9 million pounds, up 2.7 million pounds from last year. Shelled shipments were 25.6 million pounds, down 1.3 million pounds from last year. Total January shipments were 40,308 tons (inshell equivalent) compared to 40,451 tons last year
The total year to date shipments (inshell equivalent) is 299,845 tons, compared to 293,135 tons at this time last year.
With the current shipments about 7,000 tons ahead of last year, and the fact we have 5,000 tons less tonnage, I see no reason we should not sell this year’s crop by August. If so, this would again give us about 49,000 ton carry-over, which is about what we need to fulfill September commitments.
Walnut Shipments Recap
Month (Jan) 2012/13 Year to Date 2013/14 Year to Date Percent
In-shell (lbs.) 20,389 247,830 22,923 263,608 6.3 %
Shelled (lbs.) 26,867 150,267 25,558 148,884 -0.1%
Total Tons 40,451 293,135 40,308 299,845 2.3%
Basically, the walnut market has been floating the past month or so, with very little movement one way or the other. I believe this trend will continue…that is unless China comes back in heavy after the Chinese New Year. In any event, the strong January shipments will also help solidify the market which I believe will stay status quo, at least for the next month or so.
Inshell Jumbo/Large chandlers are trading on both sides of $2.23, with Tulare’s/Howards still in the $2.10 to $2.15 range. Jumbo/Large Hartley inshell are on both sides of $2.05.
Chandler LHP 20% on both sides of $5.00, depending on the packer’s inventory position. LH 80% still around $5.45.
Regular LHP is trading at $4.80 with CHP getting close to $4.60. With the additional availability of inventory of Medium and Smaller material, the prices are now about the same as the halves and Pieces market.
As for the forward market I don't believe the market will move much one way or the other that is unless China comes back with heavy bookings...
My thoughts on the walnut market :
They've learned very well from almond industry... They, along with all the other agri-industry in CA, will be riding the threat of "drought" and "China", all the way to the bank.
Current expectation is that we may see a repeat of last year, IE rising prices during summer season due to "lack of availability".