According to forecasts in the 2017/18 season, global almond production will grow by 6% to a record 1.3 million tons due to record harvests in the USA, Australia and the EU. Global consumption will also grow to a record 1.2 million tons. Global exports will grow by 4%, and will amount to 766 thousand tons. The main export markets are the EU, China and India. Global final stocks will not change and will remain at the level of 233 thousand tons.
Almond production is projected to grow by 5% in 2017/18 and reach 1.0 million tons due to the expansion of almond orchards, although the almond output this year fell slightly. Flowering delayed due to low temperature. Abundant rains during flowering prevented the blooming of buds and thus made it difficult to pollinate. On the one hand, the rain made it difficult to work the orchards, but on the other it brought long-awaited relief after a long-term drought. The heat of June forced farmers to water the orchards day and night. According to manufacturers’ reports, artificial irrigation has helped protect orchards from the negative effects of heat.
Almond imports to India will grow by 8% and reach 95 thousand tons due to the growth of the middle class and the total employment of the Indian population. Peak demand for almonds falls on the festive months of September – January. Food manufacturers use almonds as an ingredient in a wide range of products including snacks, beverages and confectionery.
According to forecasts, imports of almonds in China will grow by 7% and reach 100 thousand tons. The main demand for almonds is generated by food producers, as well as the snack food sector. Marketing research has recently shown an increase in demand for snack products from consumers in the age group of 19-35 years.
Almond production in Spain has historically been subject to significant fluctuations. Every year, the area of new almond orchards, which replace less profitable crops, is increasing. New varieties with high yields, modern irrigation technologies and high almond prices in recent years have turned the production of almonds into a popular investment tool.
According to the official forecasts of the Ministry of Agriculture of Spain, the production of almonds will increase by 20% compared to the previous year and will reach 71622 tons (shelled nuts). In most of the main almond-producing regions of Spain, weather conditions were favorable except in the province of Castilla-La-Mancha where the almond harvest was severely affected by drought.
Italy is the second largest producer of almonds after Spain in the EU-28. Almond plantations are located in Sicily and in the province of Puglia, which grows 88% of all Italian almonds. In Italy, according to forecasts, in the season 2017/2018, the production of almonds will fall by 40% compared with the previous year due to the dry summer, but the quality of the almonds will be good.