TREE NUTS MARKET REPORT 27th February 2024

Last updated: 29 Feb 2024  |  95 Views  | 

TREE NUTS MARKET REPORT 27th February 2024

Almonds
 
Overview
 
The January Position Report marked a record month with 236 million pounds in shipments, up 3% from last month and last year. Exports set a new record at 173 million pounds, a 12% increase from last year. Domestic shipments reached 63 million pounds, up 11% from last month but down 5% from last year. Overall, total shipments are 8.6% ahead of last year's pace.
 
Shipment
 
  • India: Shipments to India rose by 12% to 39 million pounds, contributing to a 25% year-to-date increase driven by strong early-month buying. However, activity slowed in the final weeks as importers focused on execution and profit-taking. Buyer interest is expected to rebound during the ABC & MEWA conferences in New Delhi and the Gulfood show in Dubai, offering opportunities for in-person business.

 

  • China, Hong Kong , Vietnam: Region shipments were 6.6 million pounds, down 14% from last year, but year-to-date shipments are 17.5% ahead. Quiet buying in the month was attributed to China's preparations for the Chinese New Year holiday starting on February 10. The industry closely watches consumer demand during the holiday as it sets expectations for future demand.

 

  • Europe: January shipments to the region reached 61 million pounds, marking a 4% increase from the previous year and placing year-to-date shipments 8% ahead. Western Europe, specifically the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the UK, continues to show strong year-over-year growth. Anticipated active demand is driven by products going directly to the market rather than being stored.
 
  • Middle East: Middle East shipments in the month reached 28 million pounds, reflecting an 8% increase from the previous year, contributing to a year-to-date shipment surplus of 7%. Active buyers are adapting to limited availability of smaller kernels by shifting towards larger sizes. Challenges persist due to Red Sea issues, resulting in longer transit times and port congestions as buyers seek alternative delivery ports. The upcoming Gulfood show in Dubai offers a valuable opportunity for direct interactions between handlers and buyers.
 
  • Domestic: January saw 62.9 million pounds in shipments, a 5% decrease for the month. Domestic shipments remain nearly unchanged, down by only 0.5% compared to the prior year. New sales have fallen by 24.9% from the previous year, reflecting a short-term approach as buyers evaluate demand for the rest of the crop year and assess potential outcomes for the bloom.
 
  • Commitments: Total commitments are at 637 million pounds, down 24% from last year. New sales for the month were 236 million pounds, a 33% decrease compared to last year, with domestic shipments contributing to a 2% lag. Assuming a 2.45-billion-pound crop, shipments and commitments currently represent 64% of total supply versus 63% last year. The industry is heading towards a carryout of nearly 500 million pounds, promising long-term price stability.
 
  • Crop: Crop receipts for the year amount to 2.391 billion pounds, down 3.5% from last season. Forecasts still anticipate a crop around 2.45 billion pounds. The almond bloom is underway, with early varieties set to start and bee boxes placed in orchards. The market closely monitors the weather's impact on bee activity during this crucial stage, as the bloom significantly influences production potential for the upcoming crop year.
 
  • Market Perspective: January sustained the industry's strong momentum, surpassing last year's performance in shipments. Market pricing already considered much of the position report, anticipating good shipments and receipts aligning with a crop of approximately 2.4 billion pounds. Active buyers in major markets indicate ongoing demand, supporting pricing in the coming months. The industry's focus is on maintaining shipping pace and reducing carryout to levels in balance with demand. The almond bloom is underway, and the market is closely observing its development while anticipating the potential of the 2024 crop.
 
The information provided above is sourced from Blue Diamond
 
Mintrum stated that in January, California set a record with 235.9 million pounds shipped, a 2.7% increase from last year. The export market led, shipping 173.03 million pounds, marking a fifth consecutive monthly record. Strong global demand, particularly from emerging markets like India and UAE, has led to a steady price increase. While the uncommitted inventory is similar to last year, lessons from the previous summer emphasize the need for active selling to reduce carry-out pressure. The industry remains optimistic about sustaining good sales and shipments for the rest of the crop year, with cautious expectations for new crop potential. Buyers and sellers anticipate careful, hand-to-mouth transactions as California manages business layers to reduce carry-out.
 
OFI reports bullish trends with strong fourth-quarter shipments, placing the industry nearly 10% ahead of last year. January shipments are expected to match or surpass last year's levels. Decreased crop yields over three years have led to pricing pressure as demand aligns with current supply. On the bearish side, weaker sales in December may slow shipments in February and beyond, especially challenging to surpass last year's record shipments. Favorable weather is anticipated for the bloom, despite recent rain, with the "El Nino" aligning for optimal conditions. However, shipping issues due to Middle East unrest are causing delays and increased costs, extending to higher energy costs.
 
Pecans
 
The pecan market remains characterized by low supply, with harvest concluded in all primary regions.
 
  • The USDA Cold Storage data for Inshell Pecans at the end of December marked the lowest year-end holding since 2005, at 129 million lbs (50% shelled meats in inshell). This decline was influenced by robust Chinese purchases in Georgia amid an already reduced crop, resulting in limited availability of Inshell Pecans. Additionally, hot weather impacted crop size in central regions (OK, TX), and damp conditions in the Southwest led to a slightly delayed harvest in NM and West TX.
 
  • The New Mexico/West Texas crop, estimated at 100 million lbs., is mostly low quality. Strong recent purchases have left only 5-10 million lbs. for immediate purchase, with an additional 15 million lbs. earmarked for cold storage sales later this year. Prices currently range from $3.20 to $3.30 per pound.
 
  • Mexico's heightened pecan consumption persists, with remaining Inshell Pecan inventory nearing 20 million lbs. Strong domestic demand and a robust Peso have elevated MX inshell prices, largely excluding them from the US market. Current prices stand at $3.40 to $3.45 per pound.
 
  • The USDA plans to buy 6.2 million lbs. of Pecan Pieces. This, coupled with strong MX consumption, restricted Georgia supply, and lower quality in NM, is expected to extend the ongoing shortage, potentially causing an increase in shelled pecan prices. Promptly securing your needs is advisable to guarantee availability.
 
The information provided above is sourced from VSSA
 
Hazelnuts
 
Turkey
 
The hazelnut market is undergoing significant changes in the latter part of the season. Factors such as a surplus in Turkish inventory, speculative price increases, and careful purchasing practices are shaping the current scenario. Prices have recently hit a five-year peak, and the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) holding substantial stocks adds complexity to the market dynamics.
 
  • Stockpile patterns : The ongoing season deviates from conventional patterns, revealing significant stockpiles in Turkey as vendors await enhanced profitability.
 
  • Price Fluctuations : Initially driven by anticipations of a diminished harvest, prices stabilized at 95 TL/kg ($6.50/kg) before further increasing to $7.50/kg in January, marking the highest point in the last five years.
 
  • Strategic Stock Control: The TMO's possession of approximately 120,000 metric tons is anticipated to significantly influence future market trends.
 
  • Purchasing Strategies: In light of escalating prices, buyers are exercising caution, prioritizing short-term needs and contributing to market tightness.
 
  • Export Statistics: Turkish hazelnut exports have witnessed an almost 10% decline year-over-year, amounting to 138,000 metric tons by January.
 
  • Price Outlook: Predictions for future prices suggest potential adjustments as major purchasers finalize substantial acquisitions and upcoming crop reports unfold.

 

Positive Outlook
 
  • Stock Retention for Profit: Farmers and traders persist in holding stocks, anticipating favorable price increases.
 
  • Consistent European Demand: A steady demand for immediate supplies continues in Europe.
 
  • Inflation as a Driving Force: The role of hazelnuts as a financial hedge amid Turkey's inflation serves as a motivator.

Negative Perspectives
 
  • Apprehensions Regarding Price Surge: Buyers opting for smaller purchases amid concerns of overpricing.
 
  • TMO's Potential Stock Release: Anticipation of market impact if the TMO decides to release its significant hazelnut reserves.
 
  • Impact of Elevated Local Interest Rates: Reduced incentive for maintaining large stockpiles due to higher interest rates.

 

Looking Forward
 
The direction of the hazelnut market is intricately linked to the dynamics of speculative pricing, strategic inventory management, and external economic variables. The outlook for the 2024 crop, with specific concerns about agricultural pests and weather conditions, will play a pivotal role in shaping future market trends.

The information provided above is sourced from Cardassilaris

According to the Stolp report, last week, Ferrero communicated with the prominent hazelnut suppliers in Turkey, expressing their willingness to procure hazelnuts from any willing seller, covering both inshell and shelled varieties. This innovative approach is expected to swiftly impact the market, leading to a probable price withdrawal. Consequently, stakeholders are advised to prepare for a potential increase in hazelnut prices.

Elevated prices can be attributed to diminished yields, coupled with growers retaining their crops. Turkish producers express concern about the insufficient snowfall and unseasonably warm weather, which may contribute to fertilization challenges.

USA

The 2023 crop, while abundant, resulted in smaller sizes and reduced kernel sizes. Many packers are committed to the crop, with uncertainties about additional availability until later in the Spring.

January's ice storms caused some tree breakage and splitting, but the damage was less severe than in 2021. Concerns now shift to pollen damage as nut clusters develop.

High precipitation in January, three times more than the previous year, raised concerns for young orchards below the high water mark. Depending on soil and variety, this may lead to root rot and stunted growth. March will determine the weather conditions for Jefferson crop pollination, and bud development will indicate whether the crop will start earlier or face another delayed start compared to last year.

Walnuts
 
Chile's exports are slowing down.

Chile's December exports recorded a significant slowdown, with a 60% decline in monthly inshell walnut shipments to 2,476 mt and a 24% decrease in shelled walnut shipments to 2,911 mt. Despite this, total combined shipments (inshell and shelled walnuts) increased by 2.1%, as Chile utilized substantial carry-in stocks before the arrival of the 2023/2024 crop from other origins.

Projected at 170,000 mt, the 2023 crop volume in Chile falls 19% below the initial estimate of 192,000 mt and 9% below last year's 187,000 mt. India is a crucial export destination, witnessing a significant 94% increase in shipments compared to the same period last year. Conversely, shipments to Turkey have declined by 19%, while Italy has experienced a more moderate increase of 13%.

Increase in the United States

In December, the U.S. witnessed strong walnut shipments, with inshell walnuts up by 69% to 65 million pounds and shelled walnuts increasing by 3% to 47 million pounds compared to December 2022. The total season shipments are 20% higher than last year at 360 million pounds. Exports rose by 17% to 249 million pounds, and domestic shipments increased by 26% to 111 million pounds, indicating a robust walnut

According to Mundus Agri, US walnut shipments have seen an increase to different destinations, except for the United Arab Emirates and Canada. Turkey leads as the top destination, followed by Italy and Germany. Organic shelled walnut exports for this season amount to only 390,620 pounds. In the domestic market, organic walnut shipments of almost 4 million pounds contribute to a total of 4.3 million pounds.

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