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Pistachios: China to boost demand

June 17, 2024 at 11:26 AM , Der AUDITOR
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FRESNO/TEHRAN. US exports have experienced a 67% surge for pistachios. Chinese New Year should boost demand in autumn. Drought is a big problem in Iran.

US exports still strong

US total year-to-date shipments exceeded the 900-million-pound mark in April, which is 50% up on September 2022 through to April 2023. Domestic shipments rose by a relatively moderate 4% to 170 million pounds, whereas exports clearly are the main driver as they surged by 67% to 733 million pounds. Shipments to the leading export destination China and to the second-ranked Germany saw triple-digit rises by around 140%. Exports to Turkey also climbed by 13% and rose by impressive double digits to Spain and Vietnam. Contrary to this, shipments to India declined by 8%. The Administrative Committee for Pistachios estimates the adjusted inventory for the current season at 1.4 billion pounds, of which 520 million pounds remain as marketable inventory.

Projections stand at 1.1-1.2 billion pounds (498,952-544,311 mt) for this year’s US crop. As harvesting will start a bit later than last year and Chinese New Year will be celebrated slightly earlier on 29 January 2025, demand and prices are expected to range particularly high in September and October. Production will range at 881 million pounds (400,000 mt) in Turkey and at 441 million pounds (200,000 mt) in Iran.

US pistachio exports (1,000 pounds)

Destination

2022/23

2023/24

Diff.

China

113,445

272,295

140.0%

Germany

32,506

77,937

139.8%

Turkey

41,423

46,900

13.2%

Spain

17,434

27,873

59.9%

Vietnam

17,200

25,050

45.6%

India

26,530

24,360

-8.2%

UAE

18,081

22,165

22.6%

Hong Kong

20,532

20,451

0.4%

Italy

17,656

19,553

10.7%

Canada

13,908

15,687

12.8%

Others

119,131

181,241

52.1%

Total

437,846

733,512

67.5%

Administrative Committee for Pistachios, 01/09-30/04

Water shortage is a big issue in Iran

As the Tehran Times has recently highlighted Iran’s pistachio production has suffered from severe drought and excessive heat in recent years driven by the climate crisis. As rain is scarce and surface water in short supply farmers are digging more wells to pump water from valuable underground resources, which is an unregulated and often illegal practice. Yet, the country succeeded in exporting around 264 million pounds (120,000 mt) of pistachios worth USD 1 billion in the past year, which ended on 20 March 2024 as the Iran Pistachio Association reports. As much as EUR 92 million (USD 98 million) were generated in the EU with Germany featuring as top importer in 2023 by spending EUR 49 million (USD 52 million), followed by Italy with EUR 7 million (USD 7 million) and Spain with EUR 5 million (USD 5 million) as Eurostat data shows.

In April, however, Iran exclusively supplied CIS countries, India and the Middle East, whereas pipelines were well filled with US pistachios in the Far East and in Europe. Year-to-date exports climbed to 209 million pounds (95,000 mt) and domestic consumption is estimated 44 million pounds (20,000 mt), which left a marketable inventory of 187 million pounds (85,000 mt) in April. Although exports profited from a devaluation of the Iranian rial in April, international demand started to ease a bit. Prices may have gained in May, but started to dip towards the end of the month.

Pistachios, Iran

Inshell, NO

EUR/kg*

USD/kg*

Ahmad Aghaei, 24-26

8.63

9.24

Ahmad Aghaei, 26-28

8.44

9.04

Akbari, 20-22

10.57

11.32

Akbari 22-24

10.20

10.92

Kale Ghuchi, 22-24

9.65

10.33

Kale Ghuchi 24-26

9.37

10.03

Fandoghi, 30-32

7.23

7.74

Fandoghi 32-34

7.05

7.55

FOB Iran

 

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