Nuts

Walnuts: China's crop volume remains unchanged

October 14, 2021 10:22 AM, Der AUDITOR
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BEIJING/SACRAMENTO. Although the spring frosts in Xinjiang have had a negative impact on the crop, other Chinese provinces are able to compensate for the losses. In the USA, the new export season has started well.

China increases production in the coming years

According to the latest report, the USDA estimates Chinese commercial production for in-shell walnuts in the 2021/22 season (September-August) at 1.1 million mt, unchanged from last season's volume. The spring frosts may have had a negative impact on the crop in Xinjiang, China's largest walnut-producing province, but production increases in other provinces should be able to cushion the potential losses. According to the USDA, general production increases in China can be expected in the coming years as more and more of the planted trees bear fruit. China is already the world's top walnut producer, accounting for almost half of global production.

Prices cannot cover production costs

There is no official data on China's total walnut production, but it is in any case significantly higher than the commercial production. However, farmers face various problems. Often their nuts are among the less popular varieties and are grown on slopes, making them difficult to harvest. The biggest problem, however, is the low prices, which often cannot cover the production costs. Here, Xinjiang, where the nuts are grown commercially, definitely has an advantage. The trees are planted in the plains and the infrastructure is constantly being improved - this is how the province was able to develop into the most important Chinese cultivation centre, according to the USDA.

No competition for the USA and Chile

In total, more than 50 walnut varieties are grown in China, but very few can compete with the popular varieties from the USA and Chile. Their prices have increased slightly on the European spot market in recent weeks and are currently at EUR 6.70/kg FCA Spain for Chandler, LHP, 40% from the USA.

Walnuts

Origin, type

EUR/kg

Chile, Chandler ELHP, 20%

7.05

Chile, Chandler, ELHP, 40%

7.40

Chile, Serr, in-shell, 30+mm

3.15

USA, Chandler, LHP, 40%

6.70

FCA Spain

USA makes a successful start to the new season

In the USA, meanwhile, the new export season began in September and suppliers can be very satisfied with the start. According to California Walnuts, 15,043 mt of walnuts have been shipped domestically and overseas since the start of the season, compared to only 13,260 mt at the same time last season. Total shipments had amounted to 395,004 mt in the 2020/21 season. In the first month of the new season, shipments to Africa and the Middle East doubled and shipments to Asia and Oceania also increased significantly. Shipments to Europe, however, fell by 15%, although the picture here is mixed. While 44% fewer US walnuts were imported into Germany year-on-year, Italy's imports rose by 73% and Turkey's by as much as 111%.

US walnut shipments, in mt

Destination

2020/21

2021/22

Diff.

Europe

2,425

2,797

15%

Asia/Oceania

881

1,374

56%

Africa/Middle East

707

1,420

101%

Central/ South America

0

0

-

North America

9,151

9,400

3%

Others

96

51

-47%

total

13,260

15,043

13%

California Walnuts; since the start of the season

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