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Market Update: Apricots, Hazelnuts, Almonds, Pistachio and Macadamia

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

The global economic backdrop: The forex flight from emerging markets is set to continue as the global central bank, the Fed, continues unprecedented monetary tightening since the 1980s. EU and EuroZone consumer confidence readings fell by ~3 points in July 2022 from June, hitting the lowest level on record! The war and subsequent devastation in Ukraine are continuing, and the European gas prices are set to increase further. The U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) is still near the 12-month high of ~109. The Covid lockdowns are happening sporadically in China, affecting almost 1/5 of its GDP-producing regions.

Apricots. The global dried apricot production is expected to decrease by more than 4%, due to the lower crop in the main producer country - Turkey (~50% of the global apricot production). The prices are firm, at above $7/kg price levels, due to the low stocks. Nevertheless, the quality of the Turkish crop is very encouraging coupled with favorable drying conditions. The new crop prices will be available in a few weeks’ time.

Hazelnuts. Turkish President Erdogan will announce the buying prices of the new crop hazelnuts by the Turkish Grain Board, TMO within the coming days. While high TMO buying prices will be appreciated by the farmers before the major elections in June 2023, it would negatively affect the export competitiveness of Turkish hazelnuts. Turkish hazelnut orchards withstood the harsh spring frosts well and the 2022 crop is estimated at ~780k-820k (similar to the 2021 bumper crop of 790k tons). The lira keeps softening at ~17.90/USD. The war in Ukraine will certainly adversely affect the demand for nuts and chocolate products of Ferrero and other hazelnut-confectionery manufacturers. While the Italy crop is negatively affected by the July heats, the recent rain in Piedmont was a welcome relief.

Almonds. The US almond prices have firmed up somewhat after the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service revised production estimates lower to 2.6 billion lbs (~1.18 million tons), which is an 11% decline from last year's crop. The US almond exports have risen recently, especially to Europe.

Australian Almonds has reported unexpected harvest delays. Instead of finishing harvest usually around April, the early 2022 's massive rains and logistical challenges kept packers busy until June. This has negatively affected Australian export quantities, especially in May. The 2022 Australian crop is expected to come at 139k tons.

Pistachios. The off year in Iran pistachio production coupled with the harsh spring frosts has severely damaged the 2022 crop, estimated at 120k-130k tons in-shell basis. The pistachio consumption during the Eid holidays was subdued and the current prices remain firm. The California pistachio crop estimates have also decreased ~11% to 470k tons in-shell compared to last year's crop. The ongoing drought & water rationing could adversely affect the nut fill (less meaty pistachios) during the July and August periods before harvest. The Turkish 2022 pistachio crop is estimated at 190k tons in-shell. However, most of the Turkish pistachios are consumed locally (not widely available for export).

Macadamia: Massive rains earlier in 2022 had caused significant damage to many Australian plantations. Fortunately, the Bundaberg region which contributes ~45% of the Australian macadamia output was not affected. In May, the Australian 2022 crop was estimated at 49,340 mt of in-shell (at 3.5% moisture content), which would be 10% less than last year's crop. The quality of the Australian 2022 crop looks good so far.

The 2022 global crop prospects are very highly encouraging in China (@50k tons in-shell), South Africa (@60k tons in-shell), and Kenya (@42k tons in-shell). Despite reported quality problems with Chinese macadamia, it will certainly affect the global macadamia markets more significantly in the coming years. High inflation coupled with tightening global monetary conditions and the Ukraine war are weighing on macadamia demand. A lot of importers are cautious. Premium whole kernels are available for prompt shipment at attractive price levels. Please let us know when you have questions, inquiries, and demands for nuts and dried fruits so we can assist you. The CCI APAC Team, mail{at}ccifoodscorp{dot}com.

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