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Walnuts: Chile declares "agricultural emergency"

September 22, 2021 at 12:26 PM , Der AUDITOR
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SACRAMENTO/SANTIAGO. US walnut exports end the season well above last year's result, although shipments to traditional markets were only slightly off. Meanwhile, experts in Chile fear lower yields due to the drought.

Exports increase by 26%

In the USA, the walnut export season has come to an end. According to data from California Walnuts, a total of 395,004 mt of shelled and unshelled walnuts were shipped domestically and overseas in the 2020/2021 season, which is an increase of 21% over last year. While domestic consumption increased by 7% to 103,260 mt during this period, export volumes rose by as much as 26% to 291,744 mt. The enormous increase is mainly due to higher shipments to countries such as Japan and Korea as well as Israel and Jordan, while exports to traditional markets such as Germany and Spain hardly changed in a year-on-year comparison.

The export growth was favoured by a record crop and the associated cheaper prices, and even last year's difficult logistical situation could do little to counteract this. For the 2021 crop, the USDA expects a result of only 607,800 mt, which would be a decline of 15% compared to last year.

US walnut shipments, in mt

Destination

2019/20

2020/21

Diff.

North America

104,862

112,653

7%

Africa/Middle East

77,099

106,330

38%

Europe

90,934

95,820

5%

Asia/Oceania

52,664

75,891

44%

Central/South America

320

262

-18%

Others

1,756

4,049

131%

Total

327,634

395,004

21%

California Walnuts; since the start of the season

New crop in Chile

Meanwhile, the USDA has also published the annual report for the Chilean walnut crop. According to the report, Chile may achieve a production result of 152,000 mt of walnuts in shell in the 2021/2022 season, up 2.7% from last year. For the 2020/2021 season, the result is expected to be 148,000-150,000 mt, although the yield could be affected by drought. Most walnut production takes place in the temperate, central regions. The regions of Valparaíso, Metropolitana, O'Higgins and Mauledie account for 85.6% of the walnut growing area, and for these, the Chilean government has declared a "state of agricultural emergency" in August 2021 due to a significant lack of water for irrigation.

In the European spot market, prices for Chilean walnuts in shell from the 2021 crop are largely stable. Chandler walnuts, in shell, 30-32 mm are offered for EUR 3.10/kg FCA Spain.

Walnuts

Origin, type

EUR/kg

USA, in-shell, Tulare, jumbo, 2020 crop, FCA Spain

2.10

Chile, in-shell, Chandler, 32-34 mm, 2021 crop, FCA Spain

3.15

Chile, in-shell, Chandler, 30-32 mm, 2021 crop, FCA Spain

3.10

Chile, in-shell, Serr, 30+ mm, 2021 crop, FCA Spain

3.10

Trade sources

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