Nuts

Walnuts: heavy blow to production

September 9, 2022 at 8:33 AM , Der AUDITOR
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SACRAMENTO. Frost and drought have dealt a heavy blow to California's walnut industry. This has prompted the United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to revise production estimates downwards in September's Objective Measurement Report.

Yields much lower than anticipacted

Although heavy rains and snowpack benefitted the trees at the end of last year, hot and dry weather has prevailed ever since and water allocations have been very much reduced in many parts of California. Frost also caused extensive damage in the Sacramento Valley in February. This prompted Nass to revise this year's production estimate downwards to 720,000 tons (653,000 mt), whereas initial estimates exceeded 771,600 tons (700,000 mt).

Although this estimate only ranges 1% lower than the 725,000 tons (657,709 mt) produced last year, it should be noted that bearing acres are 3% up on last year's 390,000 acres at 400,000 acres. Average yields only range at 1.80 tons/acre, which is 3.3% down on last year's average yield of 1.86 tons/acre. Reports state that the nut exporters in California are looking for alternatives to the Port of Oakland, where delays are still rampant.

California walnut production

Year

Bearing acres

Tons

Tons/acre

2022

400,000

720,000

1.80

2021

390,000

725,000

1.86

2020

380,000

790,000

2.08

2019

365,000

655,000

1.79

2018

350,000

679,000

1.94

USDA, NASS, 01. September 2022

Attractive prices

Harvesting is well underway in China and the first walnuts should arrive in mid-September. Although local exporters are still reluctant to issue offers, prices are expected to range on a similar level is in 2021/2022. NASS, in addition, estimates Chile's walnut production at 165,000 mt, which is 7.8% up on last year. Spot market prices have declined sharply in Europe since July.

Walnuts

Type, origin

EUR/kg

USD/kg

Inshell, Chandler, 30-32 mm, Chile

2.59

2.55

Inshell, Chandler, 30-34 mm, Chile

2.68

2.64

Chandler, ELHP, 80%, Chile

6.55

6.44

Inshell, Chandler, jumbo/large, USA

2.18

2.06

Chandler, LHP, 20%, USA

4.94

4.61

FCA Spain

 

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