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Some California companies filed for bankruptcy. From the INC Congress in May in Vancouver, global almond production expected to rise by 22%.

Updated: Jul 12

Optimistic Crop Prospects for the 2024 Almond Harvest. Global almond production is expected to rise by 22% compared to 2023. The current season will end with a carryover stock of 274,114 tons, which, combined with total production, will elevate total supplies by 9% to 2.1 billion tons. Although the INC has adopted a more cautious projection of 1.3 million tons (or 2.9 billion pounds) for California, U.S. production is still expected to rise by around 20%. In Australia, production has recovered and is 55% higher than last year. The largest almond growers in Australia, such as Select Harvests Ltd and Olam Australia (ofi), are seeing much better revenues than in 2023.

Anticipated Increase in Almond Production

Anticipation is that almond production will increase by 30% in Spain. The INC figures range at the upper end for the 2023/2024 crop, as local estimates peg the crop at 80,000-113,000 tons. Conditions for this year’s crop may be more favorable in Spain, but some producers emphasize that the prolonged drought in recent years may have a lasting impact on the trees and reduce output.

Global Almond Production (Kernel Basis, Tons)

Country

2023/24

2024/25

Change

USA

1,121,380

1,339,300

20%

Australia

103,381

160,000

55%

Spain

100,000

130,000

30%

Production Confidence in the U.S.

Industry leaders are confident that demand will not be an issue in 2024/2025. According to the Almond Board of California, new crop sales have tripled compared to last year and exceed 173 million pounds (78,471 tons). Prices are up. All eyes are on the objective crop estimate, which will be issued on July 10. The expectation is that even if the subjective estimate of 3 billion pounds (1.36 million metric tons) holds true, supply and demand will be well balanced. This balance could be disrupted if the objective estimate is higher.

Reports highlight the problems many farmers face as high costs have made it more difficult to look after the orchards, leaving many trees with little protection against diseases or pests. Additionally, California is bracing for another heatwave this week. Shipping costs have also tripled in the last few months, which may weigh on final prices and customer demand. Shipments will almost certainly slow in August and September as supplies are low, and exporters will be waiting for the new crop to be harvested and processed.


Bankruptcies in the U.S. Almond Industry

After years of rapid growth, California’s almond industry, the largest in the world, struggles amid low prices. The almond boom of the 2010s has fizzled, and the industry has entered a slump. Prices have dropped over the last several years, and California’s total almond acreage has started to decrease as growers have begun to tear out orchards and plant other crops.

In a series of Chapter 11 filings in federal bankruptcy court, Trinitas Farming and other affiliated companies (a large almond-growing conglomerate) said that record-low almond prices and high interest rates contributed to their “serious liquidity constraints.” The historically lower almond prices in the world certainly help chocolate and candy makers using both nuts and extremely expensive cocoa beans.


Unexpectedly Better Conditions in Spain

News from Spain indicates that domestic consumption has risen. The industry reports that Spanish households consumed 33% more almonds in 2023 compared to 2022. Almonds are the second most favorite nut, and the sales value rose by 27%. However, average prices fell by 4% to EUR 12.10/kg (~$13/kg).

Prospects for this year’s crop differ throughout Spain but look better than last year in most places. In Spanish Andalusia, for instance, the crop is expected to increase by 25% to 41,582 metric tons, as agricultural organizations estimate. This rise is driven by an increase in the productive area and the fact that spring rains have alleviated the impact of drought in some places, prompting the industry to breathe a sigh of relief. Many areas, however, are still suffering from the impact of drought. The absence of frost has also helped the crop throughout the country this year. National production estimates are around 125,000 metric tons, a 10% rise from last year. The productive area spans 552,748 hectares this year, marking a 3% increase from last year. Organic almonds are grown on 25% of the total area, exceeding 137,000 hectares, which is 31,000 hectares up from last year. #almonds #almendra #CocoaBeans #OLAM #SelectHarvest #ofi


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