Raw California Almonds see Record Demand

The latest statistics from the California Almond Board paint a rosy picture for the future of California’s largest export crop.

After two years of reduced October demand the 2016 crop showed record shipments of 235.5 million pounds in October – an increase of 45% from the same period last year. Almost all categories of raw almond nuts and raw organic almonds showed significant increases in both domestic and international shipments.

August to October Shipment totals rose to 607 million pounds compared to 431 million pounds during the same period last year.

International exports showed the biggest increases in raw almond nut demand boosted by the annual festivals in India and China and a decline in Spanish almond production.

Spain’s major almond producing region Castilla-La Mancha saw a net 50% drop in output, mainly due to drought, and early frost.

Experts note that the increase in demand for raw almond nuts led to an increase in wholesale prices in early November, but the price levels have moderated in recent weeks. Initially, almond prices increased by 10-20 cents per pound on many varieties.

According to the California Almond Board’s statistics, purchase commitments for California almonds rose to 587.4 million pounds compared to 445.9 million pounds last year. October alone saw an increase of 25 million pounds or almost 9%.

The increase comes after two consecutive years of declining demand. In 2014-15 demand had decreased to 458.8 million pounds and 2015-16 saw a further drop to 446.0 million pounds during the same period.

Because of the smaller Spanish crop shipments to the European Union were up 20% although shipments to China and Vietnam almost doubled while exports to India increased by over 60%.

California farms are expected to supply world markets with 2.4 to 2.5 billion pounds of almonds in the 2016-17 fiscal year. Despite some early rain in October the annual almond harvest was completed on schedule and without major problems.

Export House supplies organic and conventional almond varieties to customers throughout the United States. For more information contact AEH.

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