Nuts

Hazelnuts: Ferrero back in control

September 11, 2023 at 11:55 AM , Der AUDITOR
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ORDU. Although Ferrero waited one month to announce its bid for hazelnuts in Turkey, the market giant is back in control.

Ferrero issues perfect bid

On Wednesday, Ferrero announced that it would buy hazelnuts for TRY80.00/kg including VAT. This price may range lower than the TMO’s initial offer of TRY 84.00/kg for Giresun quality nuts and TRY 82.50/kg for Levant quality nuts, but comes as a heavy blow to dealers, manufacturers and farmers alike. Farmers already voiced their frustration with the TMO weeks ago as they were a far cry from initial calls over a bid of TRY 100/kg. Selling to the TMO also incurred delays and losses for farmers meaning that many were prepared to sell to the free market at prices ranging as low as TRY 77.00/kg. Given these circumstances Ferrero’s bid could not have been better timed.

Agreement is that the bid generates downward pressure. For farmers Ferrero’s bid certainly provides a viable alternative to the free market, especially since the TMO has stopped purchasing for now at least. Yet, they are angry with the present situation has they now have no means to drive up prices. Yet, it should be noted that the TMO still holds ample supplies and is expected to step in if market prices fall too low. For dealers and manufacturers Ferrero’s bid is certainly too high, especially since quality has become an issue in recent weeks. In fact, two separate markets have opened for high and low quality hazelnuts.

Trouble is the spread of the brown marmorated stink bug that has affected orchards in Ordu to an unprecedented degree by leaving a high degree of in-shell hazelnuts empty and kernels rotten. According to estimates the population of the bug has risen by 300-400% this year. As the bug also destroys other fruits and vegetables in the region the Fatsa Chamber of Agriculture has initiated a study, which sets out to determine in how far the bug can be biologically controlled with samurai bees bred in the laboratories of the Black Sea Agricultural Research Institute. Intention is to release the bees in May.

Prices need to come down to boost exports

At 298,557 mt the 2022/2023 export season finished 12% lower than last year. The exports valu also dipped by 10% to USD 1.79 billion. Issue is that the crop was smaller and prices less attractive. As prices are not very attractive shipments will range on a similar level in 2023/2024. Natural first-class Levant quality hazelnuts, 11-13 mm, are trading at EUR 6.12/kg (USD 6.57/kg) FOB Istanbul in 25 kg vacuum boxes and size 13-15 mm at EUR 6.25/kg (USD 6.70/kg) FOB Istanbul.

Hazelnut exports, Turkey

Season

mt

USD

Avg. USD/kg

2022/23

298,557

1,795,189,783

6.01

2021/22

340,147

1,986,044,569

5.84

Black Sea Exporters Union, 01/09-31/08

 

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