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Pistachios: March exports cannot keep up

April 21, 2021 3:48 PM, Der AUDITOR
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SACRAMENTO. In March 2021, the US exported 14,777 mt of shelled and unshelled pistachios, about as much as…

… in the same period last year. However, as domestic demand declined by 7% to 9,787 mt during this period, a total of only 24,564 mt was shipped domestically and overseas, which is around 3% less than in March 2020. A total of 139,102 mt of shelled and unshelled pistachios have been exported from the USA since the start of the season, an increase of 14%, which was mainly caused by significantly higher overseas shipments to Europe and Asia. In the same period, domestic consumption rose by 3% to 64,396 mt. 

US pistachio shipments*, in mt

Destination

2019/20

2020/21

Diff.

Europe

40,026

50,843

27%

Asia/Oceania

60,220

66,522

10%

Africa/Middle East

13,357

12,374

-7%

Central/South America

709

966

36%

North America

7,416

8,398

13%

Total

121,728

139,102

14%

Administrative Committee for Pistachios
*since the beginning of the season

Pistachios do not follow the trend

According to experts, the fact that exports of US pistachios have not risen to the same extent as foreign demand for almonds and walnuts, despite a record crop, is partly due to the fact that prices have not slid as much as those of other nuts. Due to the smaller 2019 crop and the resulting lower overstock supplies at the beginning of this season, there was no massive price correction.

Pistachios

Type, origin

EUR/kg

Natural, Extra 21/25, USA

7.70

Natural, Extra N1 18/20, USA

8.00

Natural, Fandoghi 28/30 NO, Iran

7.01

Natural, 28/30 NO, Greece

7.20

Natural, shelled, whole, Greece

14.87

FCA Spain

Crop decline inevitable

The US pistachio trees are in a so-called "off-year", in which experience shows that production is 25-35% lower than in the previous year. The water shortage, given the looming drought in California, could also have a negative impact on yields in artificially irrigated pistachio groves. To reduce costs, some farmers have removed older trees that were already producing low yields from the plantations.

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