Pistachios: drought reduces production

September 6, 2021 11:06 AM, Der AUDITOR
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MASHAD. Recent estimates issued by the Agricultural Organisation in Iran’s Khorasan Razavi Province show that pistachio production will decline by 20% this year. While early harvesting already started on 6 August, the main harvest is only starting now. Climate change certainly is an issue.

Growers confronted with climate change

Drought forced growers to activate wells two months earlier than usual so that water was available in their orchards. Pistachios are cultivated on around 70,000 hectares in Khorasan Razavi at present. This area is projected to grow by 5,000-8,000 hectares annually in the next few years. Another problem are pests. While pistachio growers only had to deal with relatively few pests in the rainy years of 2019 and 2020, this year’s drought has prompted the pistachio psyllid pest to spread, which causes considerable damage.

Traders state that the climate change has had a drastic impact this year as growers are confronted with heavy losses in terms of production due to rising temperatures, changes in rainfall, intensification of drought in desert areas and changes in surface and groundwater resources. These environmental changes have impacted pollination. The lack of low temperatures has caused flower buds to fall and delayed flowering, especially for Akbari and Badami pistachios. Some measures have, however, been taken to limit the damage in the orchards.

Prices are up

Supply squeezes have driven up the prices in the domestic market as large volumes were exported in 2020/2021 and the new crop is yet to arrive. The anticipated decline in this year’s production coupled with climatic stress have further driven up prices. Akbari pistachios are most notably trading EUR 0.40-0.41/kg higher than in mid-August, Fandoghi and Kale Ghuchi pistachios are trading 0.33-0.36/kg higher and Ahmad Aghaei pistachios EUR 0.17-0.21/kg higher.

Pistachios, Iran



Ahmad Aghaei, 24-26


Ahmad Aghaei, 26-28


Akbari, 20-22


Akbari 22-24


Kale Ghuchi, 22-24


Kale Ghuchi 24-26


Fandoghi, 30-32


Fandoghi 32-34


FOB Iran

*Please note that these reference prices apply to an order volume of 1 mt. Prices may range lower for higher volumes.


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