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Pistachios: good prospects for the Turkish crop

August 30, 2023 at 12:50 PM , Der AUDITOR
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GAZIANTEP/SACRAMENTO. Pistachio cultivation is becoming increasingly important in Turkey, and favourable rainfall conditions this year give hope for a good crop in 2024. In the USA, however, the harvest is expected to be delayed.

At the mercy of nature

In Turkey, pistachios are known as the "green gold of the Middle East", and cultivation is gaining importance here. With the increasing profitability of pistachio cultivation, many farmers are switching from other products such as grains in order to make higher profits; this is what the experts at Cardassilaris report. Like all agricultural products, pistachios are at the mercy of the vagaries of nature, so that the decline in rainfall in the growing regions, for example, has a negative impact on yields. For example, the yield per square kilometre in the 2022/23 season was only 45.05 kg, compared to 61.13 kg in the 2021/22 season. Sufficient irrigation is crucial under these circumstances.

The favourable rainfall conditions this year ensure that the 2024 crop will be promising. However, as Cardassilaris indicates, frost and hail had caused damage to this year's crop - this possibility still exists for the 2024 crop. Estimates for the 2023 crop are currently just under 180,000 mt.

Later harvest in California

Meanwhile, OLAM experts report that the world crop is expected to increase significantly in the 2023/24 season. Referring to the INC's May estimates, they state that global production in the 2023 crop year is expected to be 1.022 million mt, which would represent a whopping 37% increase over the previous year. Over the past decade, pistachio production has steadily increased, and demand is also steadily rising. One problem this year could be the poor economic conditions worldwide, which could force end customers to resort to cheaper nut alternatives.

According to OLAM, the harvest in the USA will be delayed by about two weeks and start at the beginning of September. California experienced one of the mildest summers on record and did not face water shortages this time, which bodes well for a high-quality crop. The later start of the harvest, however, could have a negative impact on the Christmas business, as exporters are under more pressure to ship on time. Prices for the new crop are expected to be significantly lower than those for old crop goods.

USA most important supplier for Germany

German pistachio imports are clearly declining. For example, the country imported only 25,972 mt of in-shell pistachios in the period September 2022 to June 2023, which corresponds to a decline of almost 20% compared to the same period of the previous year. Shipments from all major sourcing countries fell in the process, with arrivals from Iran (-72.3%), Brazil (-61.4%) and Turkey (-73.6%) particularly marked. The most important supplier for Germany remains the USA, which with 24,040 mt accounted for the undisputed lion's share of deliveries.

Pistachio* imports, Germany, in mt

Supplier

2021/22

2022/23

Diff.

USA

26,503

24,040

-9.3%

Iran

4,958

1,372

-72.3%

Belgium

485

382

-21.2%

Brazil

254

98

-61.4%

Turkey

72

19

-73.6%

Italy

13

3

-76.9%

Others

137

58

-57.7%

Total

32,422

25,972

-19.9%

Federal Statistical Office of Germany / Sep-Jun

*08025100 Fresh or dried pistachios, in shell

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