Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Almonds: This Is Nuts, Here's The Crash

From the Financial Times:

Almond prices crushed by demand slump and bumper harvest
After several years of defying gravity, almond prices have been crushed.

The market for standard almonds, which hit a record high of $4.70 a pound last August, has almost halved to $2.60 as the market was taken by surprise by a larger than expected harvest last year.

Last year’s surge in prices depressed demand, and buyers in China, the Middle East and India, who have led consumption over the past three to four years, have disappeared. Trading has ground to a halt as prices continue to decline and the number of rejected containers by buyers refusing to honour contracts has jumped.

“It’s a bloodbath,” says Ago Dermenjian at Derco Foods, a California-based nut trader.

Almond prices have risen since 2009 on the back of the overall popularity in treenuts. Reports of the health benefits from eating nuts boosted consumption growth among the growing middle classes in developing countries such as China. Rising interest in a Mediterranean diet which includes nuts among consumers in developed markets has also fuelled demand.
Rising demand coincided with a multiyear drought and water shortage in California which accounts for about 80 per cent of the world’s almond supplies, leading to concerns about adequate production levels. Problems in US ports, meanwhile, led to a delay in shipments last year, tightening the market.
Prices were also supported by growers who held on to their crops in the hope of getting a better price, say industry executives.

However, the relentless rise in the almond market eventually eroded demand. ...MUCH MORE
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