CALIFORNIA SUSTAINING GLOBAL ALMOND DEMAND

Domestic Consumption Greatest Source of Increased Almond Demand

Mark Jansen, President and CEO Blue Diamond Growers, issued a press release TODAY reporting that for the second consecutive year, domestic consumption of California Almonds is driving demand. U.S. shipments have grown 11% over a year ago, and in December they posted a 20% gain.  The U.S. is the most consistent, largest and greatest source of growth for California almonds.

Total global shipments for the month were flat to last year. Year to date, shipments exceed prior year by 6%.  We are now projecting a 2 billion pound crop, which should give the industry just enough almonds to sustain the current growth rate of 6%.

Prices are 25% higher than last year, so we are increasingly seeing which markets will pay premium prices for almonds. Sales weakness continued in two of the largest export markets, China and India. The total European region sits at 21% year to date over last year.  Spain had a particularly strong month receiving nearly 60% more volume than last year.  The Middle East is recovering, replacing last year’s losses with shipments up 28% over prior year for the month and climbing 39% year to date.

With demand for California Almonds firmly in place, prices are expected to remain solid as we progress into the bloom.

Mark currently serves on the Executive Council for the California Chamber of Commerce, is on the Executive Council for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, is a Director for the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council, and is on the Board of Trustees for the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Learning.

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