American shipments February 2024

Below, we will analyze the latest report published on U.S. shipments for the month of FEBRUARY 2024.

The shipments figure is 221.13 Mlbs (-10.0%), the third highest February figure ever, but still short of last year's record of 245.74 Mlbs.

Regarding sales for the month we have a figure of 214.61 Mlbs, being last year 190.27 Mlbs, which means a +12.79% of sales in the month. Very close to February 2022, which was 215.03 Mlbs, as the month of February with the highest sales to date.

Export shipments amounted to 162.34 Mlbs (-13.8%). Domestic shipments amounted to 58.79 Mlbs (+2.3%).

Regarding the crop, we have an inflow of 2,409.42 Mlbs (-4.50%). However, in the total harvest, adding carryin (800.29 Mlbs (-4.36%)), we have 3,161.53 Mlbs (-4.46%). Last year, from February until the end of harvest, 48.20 Mlbs came in. Therefore, if something similar happens this year, we will end up with a crop inflow of 2,457.62 Mlbs (about 2.46 Blbs).

Regarding the sold and not shipped we have a total of 630.90 Mlbs (-19.60%). Shelled would be, with respect to domestic, 266.15 Mlbs (-19.44%) and export 364.75 Mlbs (-19.71%).

This situation would leave a total of 928.82 Mlbs (-7.78%) unsold (inventory).

With these data we can see that we have sold 2,232.71 Mlbs in general, -3.01% compared to last year when we had sold 2,302.03 Mlbs. This means that we have sold a little more than last year at this time (remember total crop available -4.46%). That is, with this data, right now, we would have approximately 1.45% more sold than last year, if we had the same almonds available. Assuming that finally the crop input would remain at 2.46 Blbs, which would make a total available of 3.21 Blbs, we would have sold approximately 90% of the crop input and approximately 70% of the total available.

Regarding the destination of shipments, countries such as Japan (very similar), Germany, the Netherlands (strong increase) and the United Kingdom stand out positively. On the negative side are important countries such as Canada, China (very strong decrease), South Korea (very similar), India (strong decrease), France (strong decrease), Italy (very similar), Saudi Arabia (strong decrease), Turkey (strong decrease), Arab Emirates (very similar) and Morocco (very similar). In Spain the situation has been positive, with 20.36 Mlbs this month compared to 17.56 Mlbs a year earlier (+15.95%). In total so far this year we have a figure of 114.90 Mlbs this year against 115.45 Mlbs last year (-0.47%). In Europe this month 61.11 Mlbs for 54.95 Mlbs last year (+11.21%). In total so far this year we have a total of 383.31 Mlbs this year for 353.50 Mlbs last year (+8.43%).

In total, this year's shipments have increased by +5.57% compared to last year. Of all shipments, the American continent (excluding the USA) accounts for 4%. The Asian continent (excluding the Middle East) accounts for 30%. The European continent accounts for 24%. The African continent + Middle East 15%. Finally, the domestic market (USA) represents 26%.

As a summary of the shipments report we can say that there are bearish market factors such as the result of shipments. In spite of being a good figure for the months of February, in the comparison with last year's record figure, it is actually a more scandalous negative than it is. On the other hand, we continue to have poor forward sales figures, which have improved compared to January where we had a total of -24.13%, being now -19.60%. But then we have many data that are far from being bearish, for example, the good sales made, which will be reflected in good shipments in the near future. This is probably the result of good business during the last Dubai Gulfood fair, where not only long term sales have been made (the forward sales figure has improved) but also short term sales.

Another bullish fact in the price is the entry of the harvest, which has not been so high this month. Where last January was postulated at total values of around 2.50 Blbs, with the data provided by these shipments it will go to 2.46 Blbs. Another fact that is more bullish for the price is that we have more sold than last year at this time and that the carryin will be lower than last year and the previous ones, when it started to be too high, returning again to more moderate levels of 400/500 Mlbs.

However, in recent days, after two months of bullish prices, the market has shifted to a bearish trend. In fact, about two weeks ago, prices were quoted at $1.88/1.90/lb in Std 5% and now prices are quoted around $1.75/lb in current crop and $1.70/lb in new crop 2024. The drop has not been only in this product, the rest of the calibers, qualities and varieties have also suffered in the same proportion more or less. Some packers showed that this trend could change as a result of a good shipment report, although we see that the situation has not been reversed after the publication of this report. We will see if this report stops the downward trend to enter in stability or on the contrary continues this trend to reach pre-Christmas prices.

The main reason for the trend of the last few days is the good bloom development in California. Conditions are going quite favorable so far. Let's remember that this year there is no water problem and the trees are rested from the last years. On the other hand, due to the low prices of the last years, the grower has been forced to reduce products, care and therefore expenses in the tree and as a result they are not at their best, which would cause that, even if we have the best conditions, we would not reach the harvest potential. Some American voices are of the opinion that it cannot be at best higher than 2.90/3 Blbs and if everything continues as it is going, not lower than 2.70/2.80 Blbs either. It is still too early to talk about concrete data. There are still things to happen and we will not have the first reliable estimates for some weeks. But as long as the possibility of a good upcoming crop is on the table, the market will have a major slab that will make the uptrend very difficult, at least in the new crop. If this continues, we may see very different prices between the current and the new crop...

Maybe the trend of recent days has caused enough changes in the market as a prelude to these shipments and this publication does not change the market and remains more or less at these levels discussed. Or, on the contrary, it gradually continues its trend, in this case bearish. What seems complicated today, unless something changes with some unknown factor, is an upward trend. At least, in the way we have had it in the last two months. But as we already know in this market, anything can happen.

As for Spanish almonds, they are in a situation of quite important lack of activity. When the market was in an upward trend, there was an important lack of supply, especially in calibers and varieties looking for better prices. In fact, levels reached 3.90 €/kg in b/12, 4 €/kg in owner, 4.20/4.30 €/kg in 12/14 (depending on the variety) and 4.90/5.10 €/kg in s/14 (depending on the variety).

However, when the market shifted to a downtrend, the situation of lack of activity has not changed. In fact, which is unnatural in bear markets, there continues to be a lack of supply, especially in medium and large sizes and varieties. The reason is that this change has not affected almonds in shell. They are still asking for prices from before the drop and this cannot be paid in the current situation. Therefore, as the shell cannot be bought, the kernel cannot be sold. All this in an environment of falling prices, low demand and a lot of apathy.

Therefore, it is impossible to be able to talk today about specific operations that mark the market. We don't know exactly where we are. We know that the market is lower, but we do not know exactly how much. For now the Spanish company has decided to exit the market and is not a real possibility. In the meantime the market is still down. We do not know when Spanish will enter the wheel and in what form it will do so. Therefore, a question as simple as, what is a proprietary commune worth, today, it is not known what to answer. If a Std 5%, at the exchange rate approximately, is at levels of 3.75/3.80 €/kg, it is difficult to have an owner's commune higher than this. So, for today, it seems that this should be the ceiling, or at least around it. The American variety in all its varieties, grades and qualities has dropped in the order of 0.25/0.35 €/kg. It would be logical to think that the Spanish one would follow similar paths, but for now, it has not been reported.

What is true is that it has already been 2 and a half months since the turn of the year with everything at a standstill and the campaign was not particularly exhausting. There are still unsold almonds. It is probably not a low quantity. The buyer is stocking up on American as we see in the shipment reports month after month. We wonder if when we want to sell it will be too late or on the contrary there will be hunger and room for our almonds?

As for the organic almond evolves without apparent changes. It has been stable throughout the season, with some downward trend also in recent weeks, but not too much. More or less remains in a balanced situation of supply and demand that makes it advance without major differences.

The future Spanish crop is evolving without great news. In recent weeks it has rained quite a lot in some parts of the almond-growing territory, which has improved the situation in terms of drought, although it has not solved the problem. It is true that there have been some very low temperatures in recent days that may have affected the earliest varieties that are already in the next phase of flowering, but in general, it has been something very early and the most productive varieties were in bloom and it has not been so extreme cold as to affect them seriously, or so it seems. But everything is still to be decided, and the next few days and weather conditions will be key to the final result. We will be very attentive.

We hope our comments will help.


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