Walnuts: buyers urged to caution in China

October 27, 2021 8:00 AM, Der AUDITOR
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BEIJING/SACRAMENTO. The International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) and the US Department of Agriculture anticipate sharp declines in walnut production in some countries in their recently issued estimates. China is, however, a noted exception. Production remains high here.


The USDA estimates that China's inshell production will exceed 1.1 million mt in 2021/2022, which is similar in size to last year. On this basis the INC anticipates that walnut kernel production will range at 510,400 mt. China will, in other words retain, its position as leading producer as other provinces were able to compensate for the damages caused by frost and hailstorms in Xinjiang. High demand has, however, driven up prices by 40% on last year as the INC reports.

Traders also state that prices differ widely in China depending on quality. Buyers are urged to pay special attention to quality, espacially with regard to cheap offers. Issue is that the hike in demand prompted many suppliers to pay less attention to quality for lower priced varieties. With crude oil trading much higher the costs of shipping and transportation to and from factories have also risen. Kernels, light halves, 90% are trading at USD 5,250/mt FOB Qingdao and light quarters at USD 5,070/mt FOB Qingdao.


The USDA anticipates a 15% decline in production in the recently issued Objective Measurement Report for 2021. Inshell production should range at 608,000 mt in 2021/2022, which is down on last year's record production of 712,000 mt. According to the California Walnut Board and Commission frost caused considerable damage in late autumn last year, which delayed the development of the nuts.  The INC, however, reports that the kernels are in good quality and of avergae size. Demand remains high and diced US walnuts in a 10 kg box cost EUR 2.64/kg EXW Poland.


ChileNut expects national production to decline by 8% to around 150,000 mt due to adverse weather conditions. As much as 91% of the new crop have already been sold. The lack of containers and carriers has, however, delayed exports. The backlog already amounts to around 17,000 mt. Prices are slightly up in Europe and Chandler walnuts, ELHP 40%, are currently trading at EUR 7.45/kg FCA Spain.

Walnuts, Chile



Chandler ELHP, 20%


Chandler, ELHP, 40%


Chandler, inshell, 30-34 mm


Serr, inshell, 30+mm


FCA Spain


Ukraine will also step up production this year. As new trees have been planted in recent years acreage has risen to 19,100 ha as the State Statistical Service of Ukraine reports. The USDA and FA Kyiv estimate inshell production at 133,000 mt, which is 17% up on last year.


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