Leading Australian almond producer Select Harvests has reported on a successful 2016 campaign, with overall production volumes coming in at 14,200 tonnes, 2 per cent down on last year’s record yield.
The company received an average price of A$8.08 per kg for its offering, down from A$11.45 per kg in 2015 but still “well up on the market lows experienced during FY16.”
Upon announcing the performance at the company’s annual general meeting in Melbourne last week, Select Harvest’s managing director Paul Thompson revealed the almond division generated an EBIT of A$36.1m over the 2016 financial year.
This was against the backdrop of a resurgence in Californian almond production, with forecasts putting the crop out of the US at around 952,545 tonnes as the harvest draws to a close. This performance marks a 10 per cent increase on 2015. Thompson added that rolling 12-month shipments of US almonds over 2016 are 15 per cent higher than last year on average, with sales over October up 45 per cent year-on-year.
With strong consumer demand in key markets such as India and China, Thompson anticipates the world’s three leading almond producers (US, Australia and Spain) will continue to increase their production bases.
Select Harvest appears to be following this train of thought, with the company to set to plant 1,000 acres in the next couple of years.
Select Harvests currently tends to over 16,500 acres of almond production. More than a quarter of this orchard space is aged three years or under, meaning it is yet to produce commercial volumes.
Thompson said the 2017 harvest is likely to get underway in the last two weeks of February, with early estimates putting the crop between 15,000 and 16,000 tonnes. A recent hail storm that swept through key growing regions in Southeast Australia caused only minor damage to the company’s orchards.
Select Harvests reported an overall net profit of A$33.8m for 2016, which included A$5.9m after-tax gains from the sale of a number of properties.