California Almonds: Deep Diving Into The Objective Estimates

Photo: Marc Suderman

California Almond Objective Estimate:  2.45 Billion Lbs.

  • Per Acre: 2,290 lbs. (slightly above the 2017 yield of 2270 and 2016 yield of 2280)
  • Bearing Acres (Trees planted 2014 or earlier):  1,070,000 (+70,000 acres)
  • VS. Subjective estimate of 2.3 Billion lbs:  +6.5%
  • VS. 2017 Crop:  +7.9%
  • Nut set per Tree: 5,677:  (-0.6%)
  • Trees per Acre:  119 (up from 117)  +1.7%
  • Kernel Weight:  1.54 grams (-1.9%)

NASS found kernels to be 5% shorter than last year, but fairly wide and thick, making for large sizing again.  Nonpareil sizing was unchanged from 2017.

FROST/WEATHER:  Some buyers have remained skeptical of the frost concerns from February, but details in today’s report show the impact of the weather events.  The nut count per tree for all varieties is the lowest since 2009 and 13.7% below the 20 year average.  The 2009 season was coming off a very high nut per tree count of 2008, and this 2018 season we were coming off a low nut per tree count, and poised for the potential of a high count.

Nonpareil nuts per tree are forecast to be the lowest since 2005 and 21% below the 20 year average.  This all demonstrates the impact of the February weather on what could have been a larger crop.

CROP STILL FORECAST UP 190 MILLION LBS.:  The forecast still places the crop up significantly due to new acreage, a slight increase in trees per acre, and fairly large sizing (due to favorable spring weather).

WE FORECAST TOTAL SUPPLY UP LESS THAN 190, perhaps 140 million lbs. or 5.4%, due to a forecasted decreased carry-in.

This 2.45 billion figure is at the high end of industry expectations but still fairly neutral.  Market sentiment has been negative recently, but fundamentals remain solid.  This 2.45 is good news, allowing the industry to continue growing demand for almonds.

10 year historical chart of the estimates:

Crop  Year Final Crop Subjective Subjective Vs. Final Objective Objective Vs. Final
2009 1406 1450 -44 -3.0% 1350 56 -4.1%
2010 1628 1530 98 6.4% 1650 -22 1.3%
2011 2020 1750 270 15.4% 1950 70 -3.6%
2012 1884 2000 -116 -5.8% 2100 -216 10.3%
2013 2010 2000 10 0.5% 1850 160 -8.6%
2014 1863 1950 -87 -4.5% 2100 -237 11.3%
2015 1868 1850 18 1.0% 1800 68 -3.8%
2016 2131 2000 131 6.6% 2050 81 -4.0%
2017 2260 2200 60 2.7% 2250 10 -0.4%
2018 2300 2450
In millions of lbs.

Please feel free to contact us with your thoughts or questions.

Paul Ewing      Dennis Soares


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