The objective estimate for California’s 2019 almond production is 2.2 billion pounds, down 12% from May’s subjective estimate of 2.5 billion pounds, which came as a surprise to the industry.
If the total 2019 crop does come out at 2.2 billion pounds, this production level would mark a decrease of 3.5% from last year’s California almond crop. The 2019 estimated average nut set per tree is down by 17.8% and 22.4% from last year and the 5 year average, respectively.
By variety, compared to the average nut set per tree last year, nonpareil almonds experienced the smallest decrease (10.1%) compared to Butte (12.2%), Monterey (17.5%), Cal. (22.7%), Carmel (23.4%), and Padre (26.8%). By region, the Sacramento Valley experienced a lesser decrease (12.2%) compared to the San Joaquin Valley (18.6%).
The lower nut set per tree and lower total production estimate in the 2019 California almond objective estimate are triggering discussions of the conditions of the evolution of this crop. Unusual weather, cooler than average temperatures, and rainfall during the bloom obstructed pollination. In some areas, strong winds also damaged trees. Overall crop development of the 2019 California almond crop is thought to be about a week behind last year.
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.
California raisin prices continue to be competitive, especially for large volume deals as packers work to move tonnage prior to the new crop harvest. Shipments of California Natural Seedless raisins in May were the lowest in 7 months. From August 2018 to May 2019, shipments of bulk California Natural Seedless raisins totaled 162K MT, 26% lower than the prior year. Compared to the prior year period, shipments to domestic and Canadian markets were down 20% while shipments to export markets were down a staggering 38%.
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.
As the world gears up for the California Almond harvest and suppliers begin to offer new crop pricing, suppliers of California Walnuts will do the same. Through the month of July, many suppliers will be assessing their trees and begin offering New Crop In-shell Chandler and Howard as well as earlier varieties such as Serr and Vina.
Due to the ongoing trade escalations between the U.S. and our largest trading partners, there will undoubtedly be some uncertainty in the effects tariffs will have on sales. Many suppliers in California entered the 2018 harvest with cautiously low prices, uncertain how tariffs and trade wars would affect their sales. These fears turned out to be largely unfounded as California not only quickly sold out of Chandler walnuts, but also subsequently set monthly shipment records at the end of 2018 and into 2019. This year, sellers will be less likely to be so swayed by threats of tariffs, likely opting to open prices cautiously, without letting so much volume go out the door in early sales as compared to last year.
We work with 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).
Availability on Whole Sweetened Dried Cranberries (SDC)s continues to be a challenge. The Cranberry Marketing Committee is meeting in August which will likely result in additional information regarding the year ahead for SDCs.
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.