Nuts

Walnuts: baffling tariffs

December 18, 2023 at 11:34 AM , Der AUDITOR
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SANTIAGO/CHIȘINĂU. India has saved the day for Chile as demand for walnuts has surged. Turkey’s hike in import tariffs has left the market baffled and perceptions are mixed as to how supply and demand will unfold in Europe.

India saves the day

Marketing has evidently paid off for Chile in India this year. Shipments, in fact, more than doubled to 47,272 mt between March and November as compared with the same period last year. As local media report India is a highly attractive market for walnuts as the population is growing and vegetarian diets are preferred. Esteban Valenzuela, Chile’s Minister of Agriculture, is pushing for lower taxes in India to give exports a further boost. Although total exports are 6% up on last year at 126,950 mt, November was weaker as the monthly volumes shipped declined by 18% to 8,526 mt as compared with November 2022.

Walnut exports, Chile, inshell and shelled (in mt)

Destination

2022

2023

Diff.

India

23,387

47,272

102.1%

Turkey

25,822

23,694

-8.3%

Italy

9,967

11,401

14.4%

Spain

7,531

7,651

1.6%

Morocco

7,098

5,390

-24.1%

Germany

5,441

4,079

-25.1%

Brazil

2,940

4,011

36.4%

Netherlands

6,343

2,827

-55.5%

China

3,114

2,611

-16.2%

UAE

7,990

1,379

-82.8%

Others

19,881

16,635

-16.4%

Total

119,514

126,950

6.2%

ChileNut, 21/03-30/11

Hike in tariffs slows shipments

This is largely driven by the hike in tariffs in Turkey and the arrival of the new crops. Turkey increased import tariffs sharply from 4% to 15% for shelled and unshelled walnuts as of 1 November for all origins except for Bosnia-Herzegovina. The country also increased the Additional Financial Responsibility (AFR) and has introduced an oversight price of USD 3,500/mt for in-shell walnuts and USD 6,500/mt for shelled walnuts for taxing purpose, which effectively forces importers to pay higher rates. Similar hikes apply for almonds.

Silver lining for Chile is that a 50% reduction applies for the first 1,400 mt imported from the country. This did not, however, prevent, monthly shipments to Turkey from sliding by 66% to 1,289 mt in November as compared with the same month last year. For the US an additional retaliatory tax of 10% applies on top of the 15%. The USDA reckons that the higher rates will most certainly be passed on to consumers, which will add to the toxic inflation people already have to suffer in Turkey.

Mixed perceptions in Europe

Supplies are plentiful at present as traders state, mainly due to the US crop. Although production forecasts had to be revised downwards, the quality is good. Prices may be high at present, but traders are optimistic that they may come down, that is if the crop turns out to be a decent size and the carry-over is reasonable.

As the Association of Nut Growers of Moldova (ANRM) states the country already used up the 2023 duty-free quota of 1,200 mt for walnuts in Turkey in November. Shipments are, however, still continuing. Although Turkey has gained in importance for Moldova in recent years, the country only shipped a comparatively small volume of 1,000 mt in in-shell walnuts and around 660 mt of walnut kernels to Turkey last year. Italy has also stepped up buying in Moldova this year with the ANRM estimating that shipments will triple to 600 mt of inshells and 600 mt of kernels by the end of 2023 as compared with last year.

As EastFruit reports demand is again outstripping supply this autumn and winter, despite the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) pegging this year’s production 20% higher at 21,300 mt. Prices have also risen since October. In addition, traders state that arrivals are still expected from Ukraine, which the INC expects to range 11% higher than last year at 78,000 mt. Much, however, depends on the way in which the war progresses in the Kyiv region.

 

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