The latest subjective forecast is calling for a decline in production from last year while almond demand is expected to remain strong. According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the 2022 almond crop is forecasted to come in at 2.8 billion pounds. Almond Board of California President and CEO Richard Waycott said that the estimate is close to what was expected after last year’s 2.9-billion-pound crop. “This subjective estimate takes the expected crop down a little from what was the actual last year. We’ll see what the USDA produces in terms of the objective forecast coming up,” Waycott noted.
Yield per acre expectations have declined from last year, with several factors impacting crop development this year. Tight water supplies and reports of frost damage in some parts of the state have all factored into crop estimates. “I think a lot of the ultimate crop size will depend on the growing conditions between now and August and the degree of heat that we have during that growing period which can tend to influence the ultimate weight of the crop up or down depending on the severity of the heat,” said Waycott.
Along with the forecast being similar to last year’s actual production, almond demand has also remained similarly strong. Waycott noted that April set an all-time record for exports, despite the ongoing logistical challenges. While exports may not reach the record level seen last year, 2022 is still demonstrating indicators of another good year for almond shipments.
“Speaking strictly of demand, we have very strong demand globally,” Waycott noted. “We had a record shipment year last year despite everything. This year we’re actually shipping year-to-date – so that would be August through April – we’re shipping about 65 million pounds more year-to-date than we shipped, not last year but the year prior which was a record shipment year in and of itself. So, we’re keeping a good pace despite the logistical problems.”
Listen to Waycott’s interview below.