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US inventories as of December 1, 2023 (comment)

25/01/2024 - François-Xavier Branthôme
Data released on January 15 by the California League of Food Producers (CLFP) details US processing results for the past season, with just over 12 million metric tonnes (t) (13.269 million short tons) processed in 2023, up 20% on the 2022 campaign results. This exceptional increase, which US processors had been hoping for, is at the root of the sharp rise in inventory levels recorded on December 1, 2023 – a rise that is entirely consistent and compatible with current rates of apparent disappearance.
As far as can be deduced from December's figures, apparent monthly disappearance currently stands at around 837,000 t (raw tomato equivalent), some 7% down on its December 2022 level, bringing apparent consumption over the last twelve months (December 2022-November 2023) to just over 10 million t. 
In a detailed breakdown, this drop in apparent consumption seems to be due to a slowdown in year-on-year sales of paste held for remanufacture and products other than paste, only partly offset by a significant rise in sales of paste for sale.
At the current rate of apparent disappearance, the 8.72 million tonnes (raw tomato equivalent) physically present in US factory warehouses as of December 1 should supply the market (domestic consumption and exports) for just over ten months, i.e. until the first days of October 2024. The surplus represents no more than one or two weeks' consumption.
California's preliminary processing intentions, which usually represent 96% of total US intentions, were published on January 24, 2024: they amount to 10.520 million t (11.6 million short tons) and are presented in a separate article.

Some complementary data
US inventories as of December 1, 2023

Apparent monthly disappearance pattern over twelve months

Due to a recent modification disclosed by one of the reporters, corrections have been made to the December 2022, March and July 2023 reports. To see the amended reports with alterations highlighted, click here.

Sources: CLFP
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