The April shipment report was released today, with 137.7 million lbs. shipped, compared to 129.5 million lbs. last year. Domestic shipments were at 50.9 million lbs., just slightly behind last April’s record 51.4 million lbs. Export shipments were at 86.9 million lbs. up from last year’s 78.2 million lbs., but still behind the record 103.7 million lbs. shipped in April 2012. Total shipments for the crop year are at 1,508.3 million lbs., 4.28% ahead of last year at this time.

Sales were off a bit, leaving us with commitments of 321.2 million lbs., down over 10% from the 359.4 million lbs. that were committed at this time last year. That leaves uncommitted inventory at 433.8 million lbs., compared to 353.7 million lbs. last April. With total supply currently at 755 million lbs., it seems likely we will end the year with a carryout around 320-340 million lbs., a comfortable amount for an orderly transition into new crop. Some sizes and grades are already becoming hard to find, but that is not unusual for this time of year.

Prices had already firmed after the May 1st estimate, and this report continues that momentum. With drought concerns still an issue and the Objective Estimate about seven weeks away, I am not sure if there is anything else on the immediate horizon that will change that.