Nuts

Hazelnuts: shocked by demand

February 28, 2023 at 10:27 AM , Der AUDITOR
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ORDU. Exporters returning from the Gulfood 2023 exhibition are shocked by the turn demand has taken. They have, in addition, received some unexpected support, yet there is a big “but” attached to this.

Run on nuts

This year’s Gulfood in Dubai was absolutely packed and demand certainly was the issue for hazelnuts. Although demand for nuts and dried fruit was good, suppliers from Turkey visiting the exhibition report that nearly everyone was complaining. Trouble is that the prices for Turkish hazelnuts are more expensive than almonds or cashews and cannot compete with the prices on offer in Azerbaijan and Georgia. Suppliers from Turkey were shocked by the general run on raw, roasted and diced hazelnuts, whereas their customers were, if at all, interested in spreads rather than kernels.

Nothing to do with reality

Another shock is the widening gap between developments in the international and domestic markets. While export demand is lacking for Turkish hazelnuts, sellers use any excuse to raise their prices immediately. Total inshell exports for the current season, in fact, slumped by more than 20% to 174,900 mt worth USD 1.02 billion on 26 February as compared with the 218,800 mt worth USD 1.32 billion shipped overseas in the same period last year. Weekly exports ranged at 5,872 mt worth USD 37,458 as of 26 February. The crackers have, in addition, started to process the hazelnuts they purchased from the TMO.

Yet, the domestic market remains unimpressed by this. The prices for Levant quality inshells even climbed to TRY 57/kg last week on the back of an uptick in demand from Iran due to Nowruz, the Persian New Year which starts on 20 March. The slight decline in the euro against the Turkish lira also prompted some suppliers to raise their export prices a bit, whereas others are demanding cheaper rates. Exporters also feel tricked by the government. Issue is that they are permitted to use an exchange rate that exceeds the daily exchange rate by 2% but only on the condition that they convert 100% of the amount invoiced into lira.

Hazelnuts, Turkey

Type

EUR/kg

USD/kg

Natural, 11-13 mm

6.20

6.55

Diced, 2-4 mm

6.65

7.03

Meal, 0-2 mm

6.30

6.66

Paste, standard

5.75

6.08

DAP Central Europe

Aftershocks pose continuous threat

The earthquakes, in addition, continue to dominate proceedings. On Monday, a magnitude 5.6 earthquake struck in Malatya injuring more than 60 people and kiling at least one as news agencies report. This was the third major earthquake witnessed in the region in the past three weeks. Southern Turkey and northern Syria have witnessed more than 9,500 aftershocks after the deadly earthquakes struck on 6 February. These tremors are expected to continue for two more years.

Calls for the government to resign are also growing louder within Turkey as president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s administration has not only failed to implement effective building regulations and crackdown on corruption but is also trying to divert blame. The confirmed death toll has surpassed 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria and more than 105,000 buildings have collapsed in Turkey. On Monday, the World Bank declared that the earthquakes caused an estimated USD 3 billion in direct damages. On top of this, rebuilding may cost as much as USD 68 billion. Another aspect to consider is that the earthquakes struck in Turkey’s south, where vibrant trading hubs are located, and a backlash is certainly to be expected for hazelnuts, which are a luxury product.

 

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