We already have the publication of the last report about the American shipments of the last month of JANUARY 2023.
The figure of shipments is 229.66 Mlbs (+29.6%), being the figure of January last year 177.21 Mlbs. This means that we have a record figure. In other words, this figure is the highest of all the months of January so far.
Regarding the sales of the month we have a figure of 350.11 Mlbs, being last year 207.64 Mlbs, which means a +68.61% of sales in the month of January. This figure means that it has been the month with the highest sales of all the months so far. The record was previously held by September 2019 with 299.53 Mlbs.
Export shipments amounted to 163.16 Mlbs (+47.5%), a record figure. Domestic shipments were 66.50 Mlbs (-0.1%).
Regarding the harvest, we have an entry of 2,475.03 Mlbs (-12.47%). However, in the total harvest, adding the carryin (836.81 Mlbs (+37.60%)), we have 3,262.33 Mlbs (-3.46%). If this figure remains constant, we will end up with a total harvest of around 2.55 Blbs, slightly less than the estimate of 2.60 Blbs that is being considered.
With respect to what is sold and not shipped, we have a total of 840.17 Mlbs (-0.16%). The shelled, compared to domestic, would be 348.85 Mlbs (+3.10%) and the export 491.31 Mlbs (-2.34%).
With this situation, a total of 1,150.57 Mlbs (-11.41%) would remain unsold (inventory).
With this data we can see that overall 2,111.77 Mlbs have been sold, +1.50% compared to last year when 2,080.48 Mlbs were sold. In this way we could say that 62.35% of the crop has been sold, assuming that this remains at 2.55 Blbs plus the carryin already indicated. Last year, 59.93% of the crop was sold. This means that, with equal shipments in the coming months until the end, there would be a carryin of 700/750 Mlb, lower than what we have had this year by -10/15%.
Regarding the destination of shipments, countries such as China (strong rise), India (strong rise), France (strong rise), Germany (strong rise), Italy (strong rise), Holland (strong rise), United Kingdom (very strong rise), Saudi Arabia, Turkey (very strong rise), United Arab Emirates (very strong rise) and Morocco (very strong rise) stand out positively. On the negative side are important countries such as Japan and South Korea (very strong decline). In Spain, the situation has been very positive, with 19.44 Mlbs this month compared to 10.90 Mlbs the previous year (+78.35%). In total, 97.89 Mlbs of crop have been exported this year and last year 77.92 Mlbs (+25.63%). In Europe in general 58.82 Mlbs this month against 37.07 Mlbs last year (+58.67%). The total crop has been exported to Europe +10.26% more than last harvest.
With these quite positive data, we can say that we are in a bullish situation, already preceded by some shipments last December, also in a positive situation. These results were already expected, as the data for January 2022 were very negative. It is curious, as has happened so many times before, that days before shipments that are expected to be good in this case, as when they are expected to be bad like last January 2023, prices do not change. Perhaps the intention was not to make the mistake of last month, when expecting bad results, prices went down and then were not bad and had to return to the initial situation.
After being in a bearish situation for the whole harvest, with a very low level of activity, which had led to poor shipments and falling prices, reaching levels not seen in recent years, this situation clearly changes the trend. It seems clear that at low prices, demand is boosted, judging by a historic month of sales. These good sales will lead to good shipments in the future, at least a priori.
On the other hand, it can be seen that the harvest may be somewhat below the estimated forecast. All this means that, if the situation continues as it is, the carryin will be lower.
The immediate reaction after shipments seems to be as expected, a rising market. Prices are seen to move upwards by +0.05/0.10 $/lb. This would mean that we would have a Std 5% at levels of 1.55/1.60 $/lb (with the current exchange rate around 3.65/3.70 €/kg). This modifies the stable situation we have had during the whole month of January and so far in February, with a price stuck at levels of around 1.50 $/lb.
However, despite all this euphoria in the face of such figures, the question remains as to whether these sales, these shipments, these very positive numbers, really correspond to or are a reflection of reality. Judging by the low activity and the scarce buying hunger of the last few weeks, the feeling in the market is quite different, in terms of the European market. Perhaps the explanation for the good figures for shipments to Europe is that the buyer is fairly well covered and new sales have been more directed towards other destinations than to Europe. Almonds from the 2021 crop are still on sale (something that has never happened before at this stage) and there is a lot of interest from second hand sellers.
So far, the coming harvest is going well. It has rained enough to say that, at least for now, the drought issue may have been solved. We have yet to see the flowering, bee flight, frost... anything can happen. But if the situation remains normal, with nothing out of the ordinary, a good harvest is on the horizon.
With these ingredients, bullish on the one hand, let's say in the short term, and not so bullish if we look at long-term sensations and data, we can see that anything can happen in the future and we can also say that we have recovered all the losses from the previous bad months. So we are already in a situation of sales and non-sales that is somewhat better than last year. We will see if this dynamic continues in the future or if it is an oasis in the desert.
The month of January for Spanish almonds has been quite bearish. Prices, still speaking of Comuna Propietario, have gone from 4.20/4.25 €/kg at Christmas to 3.80 €/kg. We are talking about a drop of approximately -0.40/0.50 €/kg. This has been realised in all the usual varieties and sizes.
The reason for this trend was the large gap between the Spanish almond and its competitor of American origin. A difference that reached levels of +0.70 €/kg in favour of the Spanish almond, which was unsustainable in the market.
As a result, Spanish almonds have had to follow in the footsteps of American almonds, little by little, let's say, by force and all of a sudden.
Activity has been practically non-existent, both domestically and in exports. The buyer, as has also been mentioned with the American almond, has disappeared from the market and has very little intention of buying. The seller, for his part, resigned to the situation, looking for a situation of equilibrium that would allow him to stabilise. And this is the situation that has prevailed up to the present day.
After these data, the American origin is very close to the Spanish origin. Now seems to be the right time for activity to pick up again and for business to resume in a more cheerful way, especially in the run-up to Ramadan and Easter.
It remains to be seen how the price of American almonds turns out, whether it stays at the aforementioned rise, whether it will be more or whether the future will tell us that it will not hold up, but today, with what we have, it seems that it will not be enough to make the Spanish origin rise, for many buyers already forgotten and branded as expensive. Let's see if now that we are on the American wheel, activity returns and allows us to change the situation... Time will tell. At least let the activity come.
We hope this helps.
Thank you very much.