In this edition, we focus on California and the worsening drought situation there.
We are expecting to see damage to the walnut crop due to sunburn, this may result in additional quantities of combo grades which in turn will create a greater premium for light grades.
California has announced a subjective estimate of being 722,000 tonnes short this year, down on current crop by 8%. We expect the market to open up on current season by roughly 30%.
The almond estimate is for a crop of 2.8 billion lbs - down on the current crop and also subjective. NASS has attributed this partially to the lack of water.
We won’t know the full impact of the drought until November. The industry is concerned and there is limited support for forward offers. Prices continue to increase daily.
Concern is being expressed about the pistachio crop: new crop will be the off year so volume will be down. We are seeing prices steadily increasing.
Meanwhile, Iran has had its problems with frost earlier on and currently prices are higher than California.
The prune crop is looking reasonable, with the last estimate being 75-85,000 short tons.
Growers are now suggesting it will be closer to the lower end of this estimate due to the heat.
Please see below the latest drought chart out of California.