Nuts

Walnuts: revised production forecasts

August 3, 2023 at 9:30 AM , Der AUDITOR
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SACRAMENTO/SANTIAGO. US walnut exports fell by a whopping 40% in June, while domestic demand increased markedly year-on-year. Meanwhile, the INC released a revised version of global production estimates.

Global crop still slightly behind last year

At the end of July, the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) published its latest report on global walnut production. The report contains some adjustments to the forecasts announced at the INC Congress in London last May. Global production was raised from 2.59 million mt to 2.611 million mt, but there is still a slight deficit compared to the previous year. The reason for the upward correction was, among other things, adjusted data for the crops in the USA (May 2023: 658,000 mt) and Chile (May 2023: 168,100 mt).

Meanwhile, the main growing country, China, is still expecting a production of 1.4 million mt of inshell walnuts. Late frost damage could nevertheless lead to subsequent yield reductions; more precise data should be available again in August. In the USA, rainfall and cool temperatures created good conditions for the development of the crop in terms of soil moisture, and a largely mild June also favoured growth. The walnut trees were able to recover from the drought of recent years and start the last months of development in very good condition, writes the INC. In Chile, this year's harvest has already been completed and the walnut kernels are particularly convincing in terms of colour. However, record temperatures in spring have affected the growth of the walnut kernels, which is why there is less product from 30 mm upwards.

Global walnut production, inshell, in mt

Country

2022/23

2023/24

Diff.

China

1,400,000

1,400,000

0.0%

USA

678,500

680,000

0.2%

Chile

187,424

170,400

-9.1%

Ukraine

70,000

70,000

0.0%

Turkey

48,000

55,000

14.6%

France

37,000

38,000

2.7%

Iran

46,500

40,000

-14.0%

Romania

30,000

32,000

6.7%

India

31,000

28,000

-9.7%

Argentina

25,000

20,000

-20.0%

Others

89,000

78,000

-12.4%

Total

2,642,424

2,611,400

-1.2%

INC, July 2023

June exports shrunk by 30%

However, the US crop is not expected to be shipped until October this year, and Chandler walnuts not until November. Accordingly, overseas buyers would use alternative origins to be able to meet the demand for the Christmas trade.

In June 2023, 10,583 mt of shelled and unshelled walnuts had been exported from the USA, nearly 30% less than in the same month last year. At the same time, domestic shipments in this month rose by 60% to 10,747 mt, so that total domestic and overseas deliveries of 21,330 mt were only minimally lower than in June 2022. In addition to domestic shipments, exports to Japan (+31% to 1,906 mt), the UK (+52% to 884 mt) and Korea (+10% to 882 mt) also increased, while shipments to Germany (-48% to 1,669 mt) and Spain (-14% to 678 mt) declined.

A total of 313,569 mt of US inshell and shelled walnuts have been shipped domestically and internationally so far since the beginning of this season. While domestic shipments increased by 26% to 98,138 mt, export volumes shrank by 8% year-on-year to 215,431 mt. Turkey is the most important importing country this season, with imports at just under 40,000 mt, roughly the same as last year. While shipments to the United Arab Emirates also increased by 55% to 23,533 mt, other importing countries such as Germany (-31% to 26,345 mt), Japan (-13% to 16,252 mt) and Spain (-25% to 13,633 mt) imported significantly less this season than last year.

US walnut exports and domestic demand, in mt

Destination

2021/22

2022/23

Diff.

USA

78,104

98,138

26%

Turkey

39,802

39,669

0%

Germany

38,268

26,345

-31%

UAE

15,210

23,533

55%

Japan

18,629

16,252

-13%

Spain

18,158

13,633

-25%

Italy

21,030

13,213

-37%

Korea

13,477

12,492

-7%

Canada

6,925

7,955

15%

UK

4,311

5,748

33%

Others

57,500

56,591

-2%

Total

311,413

313,569

1%

California Walnuts; 01/09-30/06

Slight upward correction

There have been slight upward corrections in the European spot market in recent weeks. US walnuts of the Chandler variety are now at a level of USD 5,680/mt FCA Spain, meanwhile prices for Chilean Chandlers are at USD 7,400/mt FCA.

Walnuts

Type, origin

USD/mt

EUR/mt

Chandler, Jumbo large, inshell, USA

1,790

1,630

Chandler, 30-32 mm, inshell, Chile

2,750

2,510

Chandler, 80 LHP, USA

5,680

5,180

Chandler, 80 LHP, Chile

7,400

6,750

FCA Spain

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