The Australian almond industry is on track to post a crop around the same size as last year’s record volume. Harvest of Non Pareil variety (around 50% of the crop) is complete and growers have now just started working on the Carmel (30% of crop) and Price (11% of crop) varieties.
Pricing in the world almond market has held up relatively well given the current world circumstances. Strong domestic US demand, EU demand and almonds being a strong ingredient have all helped.
Australian pricing is based on parity pricing (USD/pound and currency) so the weak Australian and New Zealand dollar has restricted what would have been more attractive pricing levels.
The USD market pricing has declined by only 10-15% since January (naturals more so than manufactured almonds), despite China shutting down. This was largely driven by the upcoming and expected very large USA crop later in the year.
China, (Australia biggest buyer due to significant duty advantages to the USA), is back purchasing in large volumes from Australia. China’s annual consumption is believed to be more than 100,000 tonnes (slightly more than the entire Australian crop).
India is currently in lockdown and sales have slowed, but the volume Australia shipped to India last year reduced by more than 50% due to the premiums available in China.
The next major events for almonds will be the subjective (Grower survey)
Californian estimate in May followed by the objective (science based) estimate in July. Last season the grower-based survey was significantly more accurate.