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Global almond production for 2020/21 is forecast 15 percent higher to 1.7 MMT

10.11.2020 17:00 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) According to the report of the USDA Tree Nuts: World Markets and Trade (Oktober 2020), global almond production for 2020/21 is forecast 15 percent higher to 1.7 million metric tons (tons) shelled basis, on record output in the United States, Australia, and the European Union.

Similarly, global consumption is expected to continue expanding to a record 1.5 million tons. Global exports are expected to rise 15 percent to a record 951,000 tons on strong shipments to the European Union, India, and China. Record world ending stocks are forecast, pushed higher by a sharp build-up in the United States.

U.S. production is forecast 18 percent higher to a record 1.4 million tons on increased area and yield. February was very dry throughout most of California, which provided excellent bloom conditions and plenty of opportunity for pollination. There was little concern for frost damage this year.

Isolated storms in late March and early April brought inches of rain and even hail to some areas. There were reports of wind gusts toppling trees that were heavy with nuts as well as limbs breaking from the weight. High temperatures in late May and through June helped develop the crop through its final stages. Irrigation was needed and water availability was not an issue. Exports are forecast to account for over 60 percent of output and are forecast to rise 13 percent to 825,000 tons largely on expanded shipments to the EU, India, and Asia.

Ending stocks are expected to continue expanding to a record 325,000 tons.

EU production is forecast up 2 percent to 140,000 tons as higher output in Spain more than offsets a decline in Italy. Imports are expected up 15 percent to 325,000 tons on strong demand from the food ingredient, snack food, and confectionary industries. In-shell almonds are mainly sold for fresh consumption. Shelled almonds are milled and generally used as a raw material for confectionary and bakery food companies. New eating habits are also affecting the demand for nuts. The ncreasing popularity of plant-based diets is also helping to drive demand for nuts, as consumers look for alternative forms of protein to meat and fish.

Australia production is forecast to rise 8 percent to a record 120,000 tons on higher area and yield. A majority of production occurs in the Riverina region of New South Wales, the Swan Hill and Sunraysia regions of Victoria, and the Riverland and Adelaide regions of South Australia. Although there has been steady area expansion in the Sunraysia and Riverland regions over the last 5 years, growth has been tempered by water limitations.

However, higher rainfall in the Riverina region attracted growers to expand area from 3,800 hectares in 2015 to over 16,000 by 2019. New production records are expected to be continually set in the coming years as these non-bearing trees mature and come into production.

Exports are forecast to jump 31 percent to 85,000 tons on stronger demand from top markets European Union, China, and India.

India imports are forecast nearly 20 percent higher to 125,000 tons as consumption rebounds from slowed shipments due to Covid-19. Typically, demand peaks during the September to January festive season, although food processors are using more almonds in a broader variety of product categories such as snack

foods, health foods, beverages, and confectionary products. In addition, there is growing demand for lower-quality almond kernels for use in the cosmetic industry for oil extraction.

China imports are forecast to rebound 50 percent to 100,000 tons. The outbreak of Covid-19 in January 2020 caused many processing facilities and retail outlets to close, reducing supplies available to consumers. Demand fell as the pandemic reduced social activities and gift giving, two activities that typically include almonds. With processing facilities and retail outlets now open, many manufacturers have expanded almond usage in cereals, probiotics, and cookies to satisfy consumer preferences for healthier ingredients. As a result of these marketing efforts, almond consumption will likely expand. In addition, Chinas State Council Tariff Commission (SCTC) launched a tariff exclusion process on March 2, 2020 where importers can apply for tariff exclusions on specific consignments from the United States.

If an exclusion application is successfully approved, the Section 301 tariffs imposed on U.S. products would be exempted for a year from the date of approval.

Agro Perspectiva

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