The January 2018 shipments versus the January 2017 shipments on an inshell equivalent were down just 1.0%. 55,632 tons versus 56,161 last year.
The current receipts for the Walnut crop are at 617,614 tons. January brought in approximately another 2635 tons of the tonnage versus the December number. At this point, the crop does not have any chance of meeting the Crop Estimate of 650,000 tons, but is still a little higher than what the market had expected.
The kernel market continues to go down slightly each week on 20’s, 40’s and 80’s. LHP Chandler 20% is at $3.95 and LHP Chandler 40% at $4.05-4.10 FAS – 80% LHP Chandler at $4.20- $4.35 FAS, depending on packer. Jumbo/Large Chandler Inshell is at 1.70 per lbs. FAS with bids coming at $1.65 FAS without finding much support.
The pieces market is very tight right now and we do not see that changing this year. Combo has become a little more available as we are getting later into the season. We have been moving Combo with multiple buyers at $3.60 FOB Plant for nice quality Combo.
MARKETS TO WATCH
Turkey pulled, very, very heavy on inshell in January. They were up 82% from versus January of 2017. Many experts predict Turkey may have overbought and it will take them awhile to get through their entire inventory. This will also cause a concern for Chile, who will be coming online in the next few weeks. With so many products from the USA coming into Turkey, we don’t expect them to buy as much Chilean product early as they have done in the past.
As expected, both China and Vietnam were down versus January of last year. China down 64% and Vietnam down 84% respectively. We continue to see market rot claims out of China on The Vina’s and Hartley’s. Their local market is lower than the containers still arriving and it is causing many buyers and sellers in China and the USA some headaches.
The Chilean Walnut packers normally will start selling their crop during Gulfood in one week. We will keep you updated on size, quality and initial pricing coming out of Chile over the next few weeks.