GLOBAL almond prices are strong and the 2013 crop looks good, according to a Select Harvests report released today.Shipments of almonds from California in the year to date (in October) were up 6 per cent from the year before, but below initial estimates.
Select Harvests managing director Paul Thompson said Californian producers were expecting the final 2012 crop to be about 200 million pounds less than the 2.1 billion pound crop that initially projected – a drop of 9.5 per cent.
"The shortfall is the equivalent of the Spanish and Australian almond crops combined,'' Mr Thompson said.
"This, combined with strong global demand, is underpinning strong increases in the almond price.
"Californian growers are reporting increases of 10 to 15 per cent on the 2011 price."
Mr Thompson said this price movement was reflected globally.
"It appears to be sustainable, resulting in the highest price for the past five years,'' he said.
Select Harvests said strong demand continued to be experienced globally, with Californian shipments to China increasing by 22 per cent.
It said demand in Europe and the Middle East had also been strong.
In terms of crops, the report said a good almond blossom and pollination was supportive of good crop potential for 2013.
Weather conditions throughout pollination have been good and long-term weather projections are favourable.
"Early growing conditions are positive and supportive of an increase in yields,'' Mr Thompson said.
"Our initial crop estimate indicates that the 2013 crop will be up to 20 per cent higher per acre than the 2012 crop.''
The report said Select Harvests continued to make good progress in initiatives to drive operational improvements across the business.
On November two a number of appointments within Select Harvests management were announced.
Mr Thompson said the company was building positive momentum.
"The initial indications are supportive of improved crop yields and market prices are at their highest level for five years,'' he said.