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Pistachios: traders refute INC assessment

July 19, 2021 9:54 AM, Der AUDITOR
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TEHRAN/REUS. Traders are highly concerned over Iran’s ability to compete in the international pistachio market. Although recently issued export data was rather encouraging, frost and extreme heat will certainly impact this year’s production. On top of this, farmers are confronted with several problems. Local traders very much contradict the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council’s (INC) optimistic outlook.

Traders vs INC

Although Iran succeeded in exporting more than 162,000 mt of pistachios between September 2020 and May 2021 with shipments to the Far East, India and the EU up, sentiments are anything but optimistic in the market at present. Not only do reports state that frost and extreme heat impacted this year’s production but that drought, reduced water quality and the sanctions will have an adverse impact on production and disable farmers from increasing yields, which is crucial for the country to be able to compete in the international market. Traders warn that growers are confronted with too high costs and that the country will no longer stand a chance against the US in the long run.

The International Nut and Dried Fruit Council is, by contrast, more optimistic. Although the organisation agrees with Iran's Pistachio Association (IPA) that frost and heat will cut this year’s production short, geographical diversity coupled with new plantations should enable average production to range at 200,000 mt in the next four to five years. The reasons provided for such a positive outlook appear rather limited as it is simply stated that pistachios are cultivated in as many as 27 different provinces and that there are new plantations. Much will certainly depend on the country’s political and economic development.

Global production to range 33% lower

Although California is hit with severe drought and heat, the INC reckons that pistachios are mainly unaffected. The US is expected to produce a strong off-year production of 400,000 mt. US suppliers are profiting from increased demand for kernels in snack food, which is largely driven by the pandemic and is expected to continue. Trade barriers with China are the only concern here.

Innovation is also underway in Turkey, where more effective practices should improve yields in some parts of the country. Turkey’s off-year production should range at 89,000 mt after last year’s record of 302,000 mt. Global production is set to decline by 33% to 676.550 mt in 2021/2022. At 1.023 million mt total supplies will, however, only range 13% lower than the 1.172 million mt available in the current season.

Pistachio production, in shell, in mt

Country

2020/21

2021/22

Diff.

USA

477,000

400,000

-16.1%

Iran

190,000

145,000

-23.7%

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

3,000

66.7%

Australia

3,000

2,250

-25.0%

China

1,500

1,200

-20.0%

Italy

1,200

1,000

-16.7%

Total

1,009,700

676,550

-33.0%

INC July 2021


Nominal fluctuations

Most pistachio varieties are trading EUR 0.05-0.11/kg higher than at the start of July. Akbari pistachios have been particularly hit by this year’s weather conditions and inventories are low. Kale Ghuchi pistachios are, by contrast, trading EUR 0.05/kg lower.

Pistachios, Iran

Type

EUR/kg*

Ahmad Aghaei, 24-26

8.75

Ahmad Aghaei, 26-28

8.54

Akbari, 20-22

9.58

Akbari 22-24

9.17

Kale Ghuchi, 22-24

8.00

Kale Ghuchi 24-26

7.79

Fandoghi, 30-32

7.46

Fandoghi 32-34

7.25

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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