With strong demand for in-shell walnuts, California packers have been comfortably positioned to sell as much or as little as they would like in recent weeks. Many packers went into the market and moved the tonnage they wanted (for now) and have subsequently withdrawn to assess sold positions and contemplate next moves. Since the walnut harvest is later this year, California packers are under less pressure to move in-shell right now. The amount of tonnage which has been received at plants remains relatively minimal so the motivation remains to wait and see the crop come in before offering out more extensively, particularly for in-shell in Jumbo sizes and high half count kernel like Chandler LHP 80%. With plenty of time and crop available to sell, walnut packers have been patient and offering at stable or higher prices while awaiting more receipts to come in from the walnut orchards. Demand has been robust and there is a lot of buying which has yet to be done, particularly for Jumbo Chandler.
Across the California walnut industry, handlers are displaying patience and confidence in the demand environment compared to last year when trade related concerns motivated a flurry of early and active selling, often at ever lower prices. The lack of urgency on the part of sellers this year also has to do with the surprisingly low Objective Measurement which estimates a crop of 630K tons. Pricing increased after the report and sellers are eager to see the extent to which the USDA’s estimate for a smaller crop is substantiated by the actual crop receipts. If the crop is short, as numerous growers and handlers have commented recently, we may continue to see steadily rising prices throughout the year for in-shell and shelled walnuts and therefore buyers would be wise to cover early.
We work with the best California walnut packers to supply our customers with Jumbo and Jumbo / Large (J/L) in-shell Chandler, Howard, Hartley, Vina, Tulare, Serr and other varieties. We also provide bleached in-shell walnuts in addition to California shelled product including Chandler and non-Chandler Light Halves & Pieces (LHP) 20%, 40%, 80% and higher based on customer requirements. We also supply Combo Halves and Pieces (CHP) and Light Sorted Pieces (LSP).
The Almond Position Report for August showed total shipments of 148MM lbs, down 4.2% from the prior year. Domestic shipments were down 6.9% while export shipments were down 2.2%. The tight transition to new crop and related shortages of pollinizer varieties helps explain the slow shipment month in addition to the later harvest in most growing regions this year.
Receipts in August totaled 200MM lbs, up 5.7% compared to last year. As more of the crop comes in over the next few months, the industry will be better positioned to assess the total size of the new California almond crop. With the wide gap between the Objective (2.2 billion pounds) and the Subjective (2.5 billion pounds), the industry seems to currently be somewhere near the middle by informally estimating about 2.4 billion pounds for the new 2019 California almond crop. Almond crop receipts in the coming months will help clear up some of the ambiguity around the total new crop size. However, based on the numbers currently under discussion, the next crop transition is likely to be tight as it was this past year which will have a firming effect on prices.
Our most popular almond varieties are Nonpareil, Independence, Butte/Padre, and Carmel types with the most popular grades of Supreme, Extra, Standard 5%, and more.
There remains availability on bulk conventional sliced sweetened dried cranberries (SDCs) while availability on conventional whole SDCs is more challenged. On the organic side, there are ample supplies of both sliced and whole.
The Cranberry Marketing Committee recently posted the 2018 Q4 position report for the Cranberry Industry which shows total ending inventories declining to 5.9 million barrels for the 2018 crop year.
Comparing the 2018 crop year (09/01/18 - 08/31/19) to the prior year shows a slight increase in domestic production from 8.1 to 8.7 million barrels. There was also a substantial (+43%) increase in foreign acquired cranberries from 1.4 to 2.0 million barrels, adding to total available supply. Domestic sales decreased by 8% while international sales were up 3%. In 2017, the USDA issued a 15% Handler’s Withholding and in 2018 issued a 25% Producer Allotment for U.S. cranberries. Ending inventory decreased by 14% or nearly 1 million barrels. For the year ahead, there are no mandated producer allotments which have the effect of lowering supply.
We supply Conventional and Organic Whole or Sliced Sweetened Dried Cranberries (SDCs) packed in bulk cases as well as Organic Apple Juice Sweetened varieties. We also work with quarter inch diced and other diced cranberry products available as per client requirement. In addition, we supply 50 Brix and 65 Brix cranberry concentrate shipped in bulk 55 gallon drums.
The new crop of U.S. pecans is estimated to be in the range of 257MM to 266MM lbs based on estimates from the Texas Pecan Growers Association and Tri-State Growers Association, respectively. New crop prices are available and earliest available shipment positions are being filled and we welcome your inquiries.
We supply Fancy Junior Mammoth Halves (FJMH), Fancy Mammoth Halves, Fancy Pieces, and other sizes / types for all major U.S. pecan varieties.
After booming export shipments of pistachios to export markets last year, U.S. pistachio processors are making their way through the tight transition period to new crop. Shipments to China have been extremely strong despite the tariffs. We are now booking new crop in-shell and kernel business and welcome your inquiries.
We supply raw in-shell pistachios and raw pistachio kernels of all sizes, grades and styles. We also supply roasted Extra No. 1 pistachios and welcome your inquiries.
New crop quality looks excellent and there are ample supplies of bulk California raisins available at competitive prices. At current prices, the value proposition of California raisins -- with excellent quality at relatively low cost -- is strong and we anticipate renewed interest in the months ahead. New crop Jumbo Golden raisins are selling out quickly and there are fewer jumbo sized golden raisins compared to past years.
We supply all major bulk California raisins including dried-on-the-vine (DOV) and tray-dried Natural Thompson Seedless Selects, Selma Petes, Flames, Goldens, and other varieties in Jumbo, Select, and Midget sizes and welcome your inquiries. We also supply Selma Pete DOV Double-Run Supreme raisins to Japan and elsewhere which are processed twice to achieve exceptionally low stem and capstem counts. We offer multiple packaging options including custom boxes with client branding, supplier branded boxes, and blank unbranded boxes.
Since early summer, prices for U.S. sunflower have climbed. The crop is behind in terms of maturity and wet weather is not helping the situation.
We supply In-shell sunflower as well as hulled sunflower kernel available in premium and industrial grades for all major sizes. Packaging options include 10 KG, 25 lb, and 50 lb bags.