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Global pistachio production falls, walnuts and almonds rise

US pistachio production fell in the last year as did demand in China, but Australia, the US and China stepped up almond and walnut production as Japanese, Chinese and European demand rose.

The US continued to increase production in its biggest tree nut industry, almonds.

However, global pistachio production fell by 86,000 tonnes in the last 12 months, largely due to the US, which saw the smallest harvest in a decade, according to the USDA.

With Iranian pistachio production also expected to have decreased by 20,000 tonnes to 210,000, Turkey’s 45,000-tonne production increase did not stop global exports also falling by 54,000 tonnes to 280,000 tonnes.

In almonds, the US increased production by 14,000 tonnes. Australia also increased production by 2,000 tons to 77,000, showing a slower pace than previous years. Exports decreased by 8,000 tonnes primarily due to lower shipments to the United Arab Emirates. US almond production shot up by 14,000 tonnes despite declines in overall tree nut production volumes, because demand for almonds grew in Europe and China.

Europe imported 265,000 tonnes of almonds in the last year, 23,000 tonnes more than the 2014-2015 season, on the back of record consumption. United Arab Emirates and Japanese almond imports fell 25,000 and 6,000 tonnes respectively.

Walnut production around the world also rose by 155,000 tonnes to 2 million. China and the US accounted for 75 percent of output, with production increasing by 30,000 tonnes in the US. With those countries dominating international sales, Ukraine also stepped up its exports by 3,000 tonnes as it struggled to replace the Russian market with Europe and China.

With imports up by 28,000 tonnes in Europe, Turkey also filled its lower than average domestic production with additional imports, gaining 17,000 tonnes to 85,000. Chinese walnut imports also rose 14,000 tonnes after falling for 2 years.

Estimated imports for almonds between October 2015 and 2016 in metric tonnes on a shelled basis. Source: USDA

Estimated imports for walnuts and pistachios between October 2015 and 2016 in metric tonnes on an in-shell basis. Source: USDA