In a month and a half amid a low harvest, almonds in Uzbekistan fell by 40%

In Uzbekistan, the almond harvest season has ended, which starts at the end of July with early varieties and ends at the end of September with late varieties, i.e. lasts about two months. Despite the low harvest of almonds this year, which began in the third decade of August – during the harvest of mid-season almond varieties, the downward trend in prices for this nut continued this week. As of October 7, 2021, the average wholesale prices for almonds are 40% lower compared to prices recorded a month and a half ago.

Given the virtual absence of imports of this product from the beginning of 2021 to the current date, the reason for such an extraordinary combination of a low harvest and falling prices for almonds in Uzbekistan is quite simple, EastFruit analysts say. Almond harvest expectations were the worst and actual volume was better than these expectations.

Early varieties of almonds bloom in Uzbekistan even before the arrival of the calendar spring. However, abnormal warming in the winter months of 2021 led to early awakening of almond trees. In the southern regions of Uzbekistan, almonds bloomed in mid-February, and a little later in the central part of the country. The two waves of frost that followed this warming – in late February and mid-March – caused great damage to this year’s almond harvest and, to varying degrees, to other types of stone fruit and nut crops. Potential loss of almond yield was estimated from 30% to 90% depending on the region of the country.

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The expectations of the almond market participants for this year’s harvest were the worst and the prices for this product began to rise since the beginning of April. In the period from March 25 to June 17, 2021, the average wholesale prices for inshell almonds increased from 50,000 soums / kg ($ 4.8) to 100,000 soums / kg ($ 9.4), i.e. exactly 2 times. Then, over the next two months – until the 20th of August, prices remained at the same level. Only in the third decade of August, prices for almonds in Uzbekistan began to decline, and this trend continues. From 19 August to 7 October 2021, the average wholesale prices for inshell almonds fell from 100,000 soums / kg ($ 9.4) to 60,000 soums / kg ($ 5.6), i.e. by 40%.

Such sharp fluctuations in prices for almonds from the beginning of April to the current date are explained by the fact that the observed weather anomalies caused the greatest damage to the harvest of early varieties of almonds – as expected, but in fact to a lesser extent – to mid-season varieties and even less – to late varieties. Harvesting of early varieties of almonds in Uzbekistan begins in late July – early August, but prices for this product were record high until the 20th of August. Prices began to decline in the third decade of August – with the beginning of the harvest of mid-ripening almond varieties, completing the harvest of mid-ripening varieties and with the transition to late-ripening almond varieties – the downward trend in prices continued. In other words, the worst expectations for the almond yield were met in the early varieties, while the mid-season and late varieties turned out to be better than expected.

It is noteworthy that the current average wholesale prices for almonds are at the same level as recorded on the same date last year, but 50% higher than on the same date in 2019. This is due to the fact that in the past 2020 the almond harvest was significantly lower than in 2019. In other words, the almond harvest in the country has been lower than usual for the second year already.

As for the further dynamics of prices for almonds, according to market participants, one should hardly expect a further significant decrease in this product from the current levels.