Nuts

Walnuts: US exports decline

June 28, 2023 at 4:51 PM , Der AUDITOR
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SACRAMENTO. US walnut exports are down about 18% in May 2023. Prospects for a good crop overall are preventing prices from rising.

Exports down by 18%

In May, trade in US walnuts increased by 11% year-on-year to 29,112 mt. However, this growth was due to higher domestic demand, which increased by 88% year-on-year to 13,270 mt, while export volumes shrank by almost 18% to 15,842 mt compared to May 2022. Only exports to Japan (+16% to 2,424 mt) recorded growth last month. Meanwhile, other major consumer countries such as Germany (-17% to 3,482 mt), Turkey (-43% to 1,6587 mt), Korea (-9% to 1,154 mt), the UK (-17% to 802 mt), Spain (-29% to 676 mt) and the United Arab Emirates (-62% to 543 mt) imported significantly fewer walnuts from the US.

In the first nine months of this season (Sep-May), a total of 291,726 mt of US in-shell and shelled walnuts were shipped domestically and internationally, an increase of about 1% over the same period last year. While domestic shipments increased by 22% to 87,132 mt this season, export volumes were a good 6% lower at 204,594 mt. Although total shipments to Turkey (+4% to 38,477 mt) and the United Arab Emirates (+62% to 23,462 mt) increased year-on-year, shipments to many other buyer countries were lower, including exports to Germany (-30% to 24,676 mt), Japan (-16% to 14,346 mt), Italy (-38% to 13,024 mt) and Spain (-26% to 12,848 mt).

US walnut* exports and domestic demand, in mt

Country

2021/22

2022/23

Diff.

USA

71,348

87,132

22%

Turkey

37,130

38,477

4%

Germany

35,066

24,676

-30%

UAE

14,525

23,462

62%

Japan

17,168

14,346

-16%

Italy

20,934

13,024

-38%

Spain

17,373

12,848

-26%

Korea

12,682

11,533

-9%

Canada

6,449

7,364

14%

UK

3,731

4,863

30%

Others

53,436

54,001

1%

Total

289,844

291,726

1%

California Walnuts; Sep-May

*shelled and unshelled

Much is still unclear

The forecast for the 2023/2024 US walnut crop was estimated at 658,000 mt during the INC Congress in May, which would be a 3% decline from the previous year. In the California Crop Progress & Condition Report, the National Agricultural Statistics Service had still reported in May that more walnut groves had been cleared. Nevertheless, this difference is comparatively small in a market that has often seen major fluctuations in production in recent years.

However, experts such as Chelmer Foods currently believe that this year's crop could exceed last year's result. This is attributed to good weather conditions and larger cultivation areas. Exact figures are not given. The experts admit, however, that it is still too early to make reliable forecasts. Accordingly, the long-term price development is not yet clear.

Market players hope that the California Walnuts board meeting will provide more clarity on production. The prospects of a good crop overall are therefore currently preventing an upward trend in US walnut prices. This development is supported by the weak export figures for this season.

Walnuts, USA

Type

EUR/kg

Inshell, Jumbo

1.77

Inshell, Jumbo Large

1.64

Shelled, 80 LHP

5.22

Shelled, 20 LHP

4.06

CIF Spain

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