Suffice to say its summer, and it feels like summer and the market still appears to be in holiday mood. Neither buyers nor sellers are doing too much at the moment. Most important development to look out for is China, and the last move by the government to devalue the currency to stem the import market and keep their currency in house. Now how that will affect the market is one to definitely watch out for.
We have started to see more activity by US buyers in the last few days. In spite of the relative quietness, prices are staying put and showing little sign of weakness especially from the better packers out there. Now why is this so? well, the overriding factor I think is that “cashews is still the best value nut” and Raw seed prices remaining very firm, and since RCN crop is nearly done and is getting bought by packers in Vietnam and domestic market processors in India they have no need to lower pricing.
So in a nutshell (get it) we feel due to these two factors that prices will not come down over the next 6 months and if anything could well firm up in September when buyers return to the market for Pre-Christmas stock and tenders and Europe comes back from holiday with heavy bookings, basically everyone gets of the beach and decides to start working again.
The almond market has been very quiet, no real heavy bookings and most growers loath to even offer far out. This one is a real head scratcher. For 10 years the Almond Board has done a wonderful job, the first five years was spent expounding the amazing health benefits of the Almond, and then expounding on the terrible drought for the last five, I wonder what tack they will take on now. Prices are at a record high along with it being the driest months in history in California.
The fact that despite the lack of sizeable trade for almost 2 months prices have only lost 1 to max 2% of their highest levels ever achieved, it shows how resilient the suppliers are and how much they like being rich.
Sellers are waiting to see the result of shelling the receipts from the harvest. The first results reported are disappointing, which is normal (the first orchards to be shaken are the most stressed and these are non pareils). Will China come in heavy again? With the high price, and the low bang for their buck (yen) along with rumours of a monster El Nino abound as well all make this an interesting one to watch.
We feel there is a distinct lack of buyers confidence right now. Supermarket sales on straight almond snacks have dropped by 15%-20% saying that, the slack has been picked up by the almond flour and almond butter business. Could this year be the breaking point? So many different deciding factors here it’s a very tough one to call.
For now short term though we don’t think one will see any price decrease, and maybe its wishful thinking that even later in the year we will, but here’s hoping.
Again we know it’s going to be an excellent crop in most regions, question is what does China do this year, last year they were buyer, broker and trader, will they act in a more restrained manner and only buy what they need for new crop? It remains to be seen, most of the crop is gone and new crop will be post the holidays, expect pricing to drop then but not till then.
The floods earlier in the year has meant the availability is short again but not as bad as the 2014 crop which was affected by the worst floods ever, and shippers won't have any carryover to last through until the new crop....This year, demand has remained constant and has kept prices firm but stable, we think with the lack of carryover and the short shipments no one would predict any decline in this market until new crop.