June 29, 2020 1:15 PM
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Pistachios: suppliers race against time

TEHRAN. Iran’s pistachio exports have witnessed a sharp recovery in May. The export performance is, nevertheless, lagging far behind this this season so far. Market players are growing increasingly concerned as suppliers race against time.

Warehouse inventories exceed 91,000 metric tonnes

Exports in May in fact reached 9,209 metric tonnes, which is a 59% rise over May 2019 (5,794 mt) and a rise of 58% over May 2018 (5,818 mt). According to official customs statistics Iran has shipped 96,946 metric tonnes of pistachios overseas between October 2019 and May 2020, an increase of a stunning 232% over the 29,220 metric tonnes shipped in the same period one year ago. However, it should be noted that 2018/2019 was an “off-year” in the biennial production cycle, meaning that the comparison to 2017/2018 is more representative.

In this respect it should be noted that this season’s exports range 18.5% lower than in the same period two years ago when exports stood at 118,856 metric tonnes. The decline is mainly attributed to the limited supply of pistachios at the beginning of the crop year, the difficulties in financial transaction resulting from the sanction and Covid-19, which has slowed down exports in recent months. Problem is that an estimated 40% production, 91,400 metric tonnes, remained in the warehouses in May. Market players are highly concerned over these inventories and hope that exports will continue to pick up to the Far East, India and the Commonwealth of Independent States. over the next few months, boosted by attractive prices and the gradual transitions of the market after being hit by the coronavirus.

Time is running short

Time is, however, running short as the INC is reckoning with a record US production of 544,000 metric tonnes in the new season and production in Turkey is also expected to surge by 333% to 325,000 metric tonnes. By contrast, production in Iran is set to decline by 17.1% to 170,000 metric tonnes as 2020/2021 is an “off-year” in terms of production. Prices are indeed more competitive in Iran than in the US at present. Buyers are profiting from the devaluation of the rial, which has prompted prices to decline by EUR 0.29-0.34 per kg FOB, depending on variety. Prices in the domestic market have, however, remained firm.

Pistachios, Iran

Type

EUR/kg*

Ahmad Aghaei, 22-24

6.46

Ahmad Aghaei, 24-26

6.22

Akbari, 20-22

6.78

Akbari, 22-24

6.53

Kale Ghuchi, 22-24

6.34

Kale Ghucci, 24-26

6.15

Fandoghi, 30-32

5.72

Fandoghi, 32-34

5.53

FOB Iran

*Please note that these prices apply to an order volume of 1 metric tonnes. Prices for larger volumes may range lower and are subject to negotiation.

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Price Charts
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Harvest dates
Next harvest dates for Pistachio
Country
Start of harvest
Turkey
8/5/20
Greece
8/15/20
Spain
8/15/20
Italy
8/20/20
USA
9/1/20
Syrian Arab Republic
9/1/20
China
9/1/20
Tunisia
9/1/20
Kyrgyzstan
9/1/20
Afghanistan
9/15/20
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Crop sizes

Crop sizes for Pistachio
Country
Year
Crop size
Iran
2018
551,307 mt
USA
2018
447,700 mt
Turkey
2018
240,000 mt
China
2018
74,828 mt
Syrian Arab Republic
2018
28,800 mt
Greece
2018
8,558 mt
Spain
2018
8,210 mt
Italy
2018
3,864 mt
Madagascar
2018
3,167 mt
Afghanistan
2018
2,734 mt
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