Hazelnuts: Game over for speculators

February 27, 2017 at 10:31 AM , Der AUDITOR
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ORDU. Speculators have failed to push up prices. Economists are highly concerned with President Erdogan’s policy. And to make matters worse, Turkey is faced with increasing competition from abroad. Although uncertainty is ruling the market, some traders are confident that there will be valuable opportunities this year.

In 2016 speculators found a good excuse to drive up prices only weeks before the harvest. They bought large quantities to limit availability with the intention of creating the impression that the crop was running low and to reap better prices. The problem, however, was that they underestimated the enormous carry-over supply from 2015 and that export demand dropped. Prices, therefore, decreased and continued to do so last week. Rumours have it that some speculators lost great amounts.

Uncertainty prevails

Uncertainty currently prevails in the market, especially with the referendum approaching on 16 April. Erdoğan has initiated a welfare programme for the economy, which includes reduced VAT rates, lower debits and low currency rates. The government is also spending great amounts on propaganda. This temporarily boosted the Turkish lire and lifted the prices for hazelnuts. But the country will face serious economic problems in the long run. International investors have stepped back after the economy was rated negative. Economists are concerned over the large amount of foreign credits, the restructuring of credits and debits in the domestic market.

It is, therefore, very difficult to predict the further developments in the hazelnut market this season. The large carry-over stocks will, however, remain an issue in the months to come and the possible devaluation of the local currency may render export prices more attractive. Moreover, the current conditions for the crop are very promising. Reliable will, however, only become available in April, which is why buyers are advised to wait until May/April before conducting purchases.

Turkish hazelnut kernels



natural 11-13 mm 


diced, 2-4 mm 


meal, 0-2 mm 


Hazelnut paste


DDP Germany

Competition is becoming fiercer

It is, in addition, becoming increasingly important for Turkey to invest in the future. Acreage is increasing in China, the USA and Georgia. These three countries may be able to jointly produce 500,000 mt in five years’ time. They currently produce 100,000 mt. Traders in Turkey are, therefore, urging farmers to plant new trees that are more resistant and produce higher yields.

Hazelnut exports









Since the start of the season


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hazelnuts natural price chart

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