Nuts

Pistachios: production in Turkey declines by 70%

November 18, 2021 11:38 AM, Der AUDITOR
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REUS/ANKARA. While according to the INC, production in Turkey and Iran has dropped significantly, the USA is experiencing only a slight decline in production despite the current "off-year". This is due to the larger area under cultivation.

Smaller pistachios in the USA

Although this year is an "off-year" in the USA, the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) expects a large pistachio crop of about 453,000 mt (1 billion lbs). The high crop volume is due on the one hand to the expanded acreage and on the other hand to favourable conditions during the important flowering phase, which allowed the nuts to develop well. However, the high temperatures in summer may have had a negative impact on quality and the pistachios are about 10% smaller than usual, while the early start of harvesting has ensured that fewer losses due to pests have occurred. International demand is expected to remain strong; last year US shipments were 325,000 mt (716 million lbs), up 22% from the previous year. However, exporters have some hurdles to overcome, including tariffs that hamper trade between the US and China, and logistical problems that continue to cause delays and bottlenecks.

Iran records high exports

As reported by the INC according to the Iran Pistachio Association (IPA), the revised crop estimate for 2020 is 240,000 mt (dried, inshell). The IPA estimate for spring 2021 is 145,000 mt. The crop consists of about 40% Ahmad Aghaei, 30% Fandoghi, 15% Jumbo and 15% Akbari. The quality of the nuts is currently reported as average, with smaller nuts and a larger quantity of closed pistachios than last year. Exporters can be satisfied, because thanks to high demand and competitive prices, only 2007 saw a larger export volume.

Pistachio prices

Type

EUR/kg

Ahmad Aghaei, 24-26, FOB Iran

9.16

Akbari, 20-22, FOB Iran

9.60

Fandoghi, 30-32, FOB Iran

7.95

Raw Extra N1, 21/25 NO, USA, FCA Spain

7.60

Raw Supreme, 26/30 NO, USA, FCA Spain

7.10

Trade sources

Turkey struggles with volatile lira

Turkey's pistachio crop is estimated at about 89,000 mt inshell this season, more than 70% less than last year. The pistachios are harvested green to allow the trees more time to recover before the new season starts. The nuts of the "Mawardi" and "Red Type" varieties have turned out smaller than last year because the growing regions did not receive the expected rainfall in summer, which could lead to new shortages. One problem Turkey is currently facing is the unstable financial market, which affects all sectors.

Spain doubles production

Central and western Spain suffered crop losses due to heavy rainfall, causing the INC to revise its forecast by -11%. Nevertheless, the southern European country can increase its pistachio production by 50% to 2,700 mt this season. The nuts are of good size, but there is an increased proportion of empty shells, especially in the Kerman variety. This is most likely due to insufficient pollination.

Pistachio production, inshell, in mt

Country

2020/21

2021/22

Diff.

USA

476,000

453,000

-4.8%

Iran

240,000

145,000

-39.6%

Turkey

302,000

89,000

-70.5%

Syria

20,700

22,000

6.3%

Greece

8,000

7,200

-10.0%

Afghanistan

4,500

5,900

31.1%

Spain

1,800

2,700

50.0%

Australia

3,000

2,300

-23.3%

China

1,500

1,200

-20.0%

Italy

1,200

1,000

-16.7%

Total

1,058,700

729,300

-31.1%

INC, November 2021

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