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Pistachios: water scarcity presents challenges

February 14, 2022 at 11:00 AM, Der AUDITOR
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TEHRAN. While drought and excessive heat cut last year’s pistachio production by an estimated 35% to 135,000 mt, water scarcity is a much more prolonged issue in Iran. Successive climate change has reduced production in Kerman province in recent years. Iran mainly produces pistachios here.

Water is the issue

With pistachio production comprising 520,000 ha in 28 provinces Iran is well-equipped to meet a good deal of global demand, especially since the nuts produced here have a particularly good taste, which is a competitive advantage. While global demand exceeds 2 million mt, global production only ranges at 600,000 mt. Consumption is particularly high in Asia, the USA and Europe as the shipment reports issued by the Iran Pistachio Association and the Administrative Committee for Pistachios vividly display. Iran mainly ships pistachios to countries in Central Asia.

Although the country has advanced to the leading producer and export of pistachios in recent years, production is shifting. With water scarcity and climate change presenting an issue in Kerman province and especially in Rafsanjan county, Iran’s leading production centre for pistachios, growers need to pay more attention to irrigation and careful planning. As traders, however, report the growers in Kerman are failing to do so at present and production has started to shift more towards other provinces, especially towards the north and north-western parts of the country. The farmers in Kerman certainly require support to adapt to the climate crisis by scientific means if a sustained impact on production is to be avoided.

Prices remain high

Prices have remained relatively fixed on a high level after Chinese New Year. For Ahmad Aghaei pistachios, size 24-26, prices have, however, risen by EUR 0.27/kg in the last two weeks. With supplies being more limited this season prices should pick up very soon.

Pistachios, Iran

Inshell, NO

EUR/kg*

Ahmad Aghaei, 24-26

9.58

Ahmad Aghaei, 26-28

9.44

Akbari, 20-22

10.49

Akbari 22-24

10.09

Kale Ghuchi, 22-24

9.60

Kale Ghuchi 24-26

9.28

Fandoghi, 30-32

8.68

Fandoghi 32-34

8.47

FOB Iran

 

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