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Pistachios: setbacks persist

March 22, 2023 at 11:06 AM , Der AUDITOR
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TEHRAN. Recent years have been a shock for Iran’s pistachio industry. Although prospects for this year’s production are encouraging, a rebound is not in sight. Climate change is not the only issue here.

Sharp decline in production

Droughts, frost and a reduction in water supplies have caused production to decline sharply in recent years. Especially in Kerman province, which previously accounted for 90% of Iran’s pistachio output. While production used to range at 200,000 mt here, this figure dropped to 30,000 mt in 2022 as statistics issued by the Ministry of Agriculture show. Not only did frost create extensive damages in March last year but the orchards are also not in good condition and producers are very much worried. Semnan and Razavi Khorasan are also important producing provinces but production has also dropped to 60,000 mt in Razavi Khorasan. Producers grow pistachios on 450,000 ha in 27 provinces throughout Iran. Estimates state that total production ranged at 115,000-136,000 mt in the past two years.

Although prospects for this year’s production are more encouraging, suppliers urge for caution. Yields should range higher as 2023 is an on-year in terms of production and recent rains certainly give rise to hopes that the crop will be good in summer. Sudden frosts may, however, occur throughout spring, which is one reason why suppliers prefer to wait. The US sanctions are also impacting production and trade as it is impossible for growers to import all pesticides required and several countries refuse to buy pistachios in Iran. Another issue is the government’s tight control over exchange rates and taxes. As the government forces suppliers to comply with its complex exchange rate system at a loss many exporters have dropped out of the business cycle in the past four years.

Sharp rise in prices

Pistachio prices have risen sharply since February, despite the depreciation of the Iranian rial. The rise in domestic demand prompted by Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which was celebrated on 20-21 March, is the main driver. As many businesses are closed for Nowruz this week trading is a bit subdued.

Pistachios, Iran

Inshell, NO

EUR/kg*

USD/kg*

Ahmad Aghaei, 24-26

12.87

13.88

Ahmad Aghaei, 26-28

12.41

13.38

Akbari, 20-22

15.26

16.46

Akbari 22-24

14.57

15.71

Kale Ghuchi, 22-24

14.00

15.10

Kale Ghuchi 24-26

13.55

14.61

Fandoghi, 30-32

10.82

11.67

Fandoghi 32-34

10.59

11.42

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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