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Hazelnuts: opinions divided over prices

April 26, 2021 10:23 AM, Der AUDITOR
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ORDU. Political tensions are tangible in Turkey's hazelnut market. Not only have relations between the US and Ankara soured after president Joe Biden formally recognised the Armenian Genocide carried out by the Ottoman Empire in World War I but the Turkish lira was also sent tumbling again. Exchange rate fluctuations may indeed spell trouble for buyers. Issue is that they are left in the dark as to the TMO's intention of intervening in the market in May. The prices on offer for this year's crop have also taken a surprising turn.

2021 crop surprisingly expensive

Trading has been rather subdued in recent weeks. This is, however, not only driven by Ramadan and Covid-19 related restrictions but also by a lack of interest in buying. As this year's production is expected to reach 800,000 mt, buyers prefer to wait for lower prices. On top of this, the depreciation of the Turkish lira has driven down raw kernel and export prices. Surprisingly, however, many suppliers have recently issued higher prices for this year's than for the current crop and some market players reckon that the current market prices mark a temporary low. This has irritated many buyers. Issue is that if they continue to wait there is a risk that prices may rise, but only in the event that the Turkish lira will recover and inflation will prompt the TMO to issue a high bid price. Others, however, think that this is only a temporary trend as the market will eventually have to bow to pressure. 

The TMO has, in addition, issued no statement as to its intention of continuing to act as a buyer in May. Market players reckon that this will only happen in July, which leaves buyers to speculate over in how far prices may fall. Any purchases conducted by Ferrero will also provide important signals. 

Hazelnuts, Turkey

Size

EUR/kg

Natural, 11-13 mm 

5.25

Diced, 2-4 mm 

6.20

Meal, 0-2 mm 

5,95

Hazelnut paste

5,45

DDP Germany

Turkey remains most important EU supplier

Although shipments declined nominally in 2020, Turkey remains the most important third country supplier for the EU. In terms of value, however, shipments from Turkey rose from EUR 663,536 million in 2019 to EUR 719.993 million in 2020. At 22,569 mt, intra EU shipments from Italy recovered nominally in 2020. Chile, Georgia and Azerbaijan are also important extra EU suppliers.

Italy, moreover, replaced Germany as most important export destination for Turkey in the EU. Turkey shipped 39.678 mt to Italy in 2020, which is 5% up on the 37,780 mt shipped in 2019 as data recently issued by the European Commission shows. Shipments to Germany, by contrast, slumped 36.4% to 35,000 mt in 2020. Shipments ranged as high as 55,000 mt in 2019. Turkey’s exports to France also declined by 2.3% to 15,662 mt in 2020.

Top 5 hazelnut suppliers for EU27, in mt

Producing country

2019

2020

Diff

Turkey

117,090

115,278

-1.5%

Italy

21,985

22,568

2.6%

Chile

11,911

13,760

15.5%

Georgia

7,020

10,127

44.2%

Azerbaijan

10,676

8,002

-25.1%

European Commission,
080222 Hazelnuts or filberts (Corylus spp.), shelled


Turkey loses out in Germany

More recent data provided by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany shows that exports from Turkey to Germany continued to decline between September 2020 and February 2021. Shipments from Turkey fell by 19.4% to 24,318 mt in September 2020 to February 2021 as opposed to 30,164 mt shipped from Turkey in the same period in 2019/2020. Italy (+26.9% to 8,699 mt), Georgia (+151.3% to 4,011 mt) and Azerbaijan (+16.8% to 2,362 mt) are also important suppliers for Germany. At 40,081 mt, total shipments to Germany only ranged 3.5% lower than the 41,552 mt shipped in 2019/2020.

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