Nuts

Walnuts: Chile's crop larger than expected

July 7, 2022 10:10 AM, Der AUDITOR
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SANTIAGO. The Chilean walnut crop turned out better than expected. With the growing production volumes, the development of new export markets is becoming increasingly important. ChileNut is focusing on India and sees great potential.

Quality can convince

In Chile, the walnut harvest has now been completed and market players are satisfied with the results. The production result was even better than expected and, at 170,000 mt, roughly corresponds to the original forecasts of the experts from ChileNut, the Chilean trade association for walnuts. The quality of the nuts is also convincing: according to previous evaluations, 66% of the production meets the criteria for "extra light" and another 27% for "light". In terms of size categorisation, 32/34s (34% of the crop) and 34/36s (28% of the crop) account for the majority.

According to the latest report of the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council, rainfall during the harvest season, contrary to fears, had little impact on this year's walnut crop; only 15% of the nuts are said to have been harvested after the rainfall period, of which only about a quarter were affected by the rain at all; in total, therefore, less than 4% of the crop or 7,000 mt are said to have been affected.

India as an important partner

The shipment of the new crop is also going well, apart from the significantly higher freight costs. After cherries, walnuts have become the largest and most important fruit plantations for Chile and current developments show good potential. To be able to sell the growing production volume, ChileNut advocates opening up new export markets and removing hurdles. "If I had to prioritize, I would say India is my first, second, and third priority,” says the chairman of ChileNut, Edmundo Valderrama. India is still a relatively young market for Chile, but it has potential. In 2021, exports almost doubled to 21,000 mt of walnuts compared to the previous year, he said, even though the import duty on nuts was raised from 30% to 100%. A reduction in tariffs could further boost trade relations. Nevertheless, according to Valderrama, an increase in market prices is desirable, as production costs have risen significantly. However, factors such as the increase in production in China make this development more difficult.

On the European spot market, prices have even dropped again in the last two weeks. Chandler walnuts, LHP 80% from the USA are currently at EUR 6.45/kg FCA Spain, for Chilean Chandler, inshell, 30-34 mm the prices are at EUR 3.00/kg FCA Spain.

Walnuts

Type

EUR/kg

Chandler, LHP 20%, USA

5.35

Chandler, LHP 80%, USA

6.45

Chandler, inshell, Jumbo, USA

2.35

Chandler, inshell, 30-34 mm, Chile

3.00

FCA Spain

Germany increases imports from Ukraine

Germany's walnut* imports are relatively stable. Between September 2021 and April 2022, 28,498 mt of shelled walnuts were imported, around 2% less than in the same period last year. While there was little change in imports of US walnuts, shipments from Chile and Moldova fell significantly during this period. At the same time, Germany noticeably increased the volume of imports from countries such as Ukraine and China.

Walnut* imports, Germany, in mt

Supplier

2020/21

2021/22

Diff.

USA

16,892

16,875

-0.1%

Chile

6,016

4,674

-22.3%

Ukraine

1,276

1,581

23.9%

China

1,191

1,554

30.5%

Moldova

1,164

805

-30.8%

Romania

593

558

-5.9%

France

325

335

3.1%

Others

1,627

2,116

30.1%

Total

29,084

28,498

-2.0%

Federal Statistical Office of Germany / Sep-Apr

*08023200 Fresh or dried walnuts, shelled

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