Almonds: The ’objective’ estimate of 1.65bn lb 6% higher than the May ’objective’ of 1.55bn lb confounded all expectations. Although there is disbelief at the numbers for California crops, it caps any likelihood of a major almond price increase and also presents almonds as the cheapest tree nut among this basket.

Walnuts: There is a mixture of good and bad news on the walnut front. The California crop is reported to be developing well, but it is likely that the new crop in China will mostly be consumed domestically.

Cashews: The price has stabilised in recent weeks. After light crops in both Vietnam and India, reports suggest that supply throughout 2010, not allowing for the Brazilian new crop in November, will be about 10-12% down on last year’s supply. However, retail sales data reports lower demand for cashews.

Pecans: Prices are expected to remain strong up to November/December and, thereafter, dependent upon the extent to which demand has shown itself, prices are likely to ease into the New Year.

Pistachios: This season, the price of pistachio kernels and in-shell have been squeezed to unprecedentedly high levels, so demand has shrunk in response. This looks likely to continue to deflate prices until we see some respite in October from both Californian and Iranian new crops.

l Based on information provided by RM Curtis