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Global almond production for 2021/22 is forecast 8 percent lower to 1.6 MMT

26.10.2021 14:47 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) According to the report of the USDA Tree Nuts: World Markets and Trade (October 2021), global almond production for 2021/22 is forecast 8 percent lower to 1.6 million metric tons (tons) shelled basis, as losses in the United States and the European Union more than offset gains in Australia and Turkey. Record consumption combined with lower output is expected to draw inventories down 20 percent from last years record level. Global exports are expected to rise 3 percent to a record 1.1 million tons on strong shipments from the United States and Australia to the European Union and China.

U.S. production is forecast down 10 percent to 1.3 million tons as average nut set per tree decreased 18 percent and kernel weight dropped 3 percent, more than offsetting a 6‐percent rise in bearing acres. The crop started off with very dry weather in February, providing excellent bloom conditions and plenty of opportunity for pollination. However, lack of rainfall continued through the spring and brought about concern for water availability. Due to low water allocations and record high temperatures in June, the crop did not develop as well as expected. Some growers decided to save their trees by stripping nuts before the harvest. Disease and pest pressure were reported to be low. Exports are forecast to rise 2 percent to a record 965,000 tons largely on additional shipments to the European Union and China, drawing U.S. ending inventories down from last years record.

Australia production is forecast to rise 14 percent to a record 145,000 tons on higher area and yield. The Sunraysia region in Victoria accounts for over 60 percent of total production, the Riverland region in South Australia produces about 25 percent, and the Riverina region of New South Wales produces nearly 15 percent. Sunraysia and Riverland are preferred growing regions as they have well‐drained sandy soil, a warm climate with low rainfall (reducing the risk of rain during harvest), an adequate cold chill period over winter, and low risk of hail. These regions rely on irrigation water supplied from the Murray River. The Riverina region, although well suited for almond production, has a higher rainfall and heavier soils that can impede harvest and reduce the quality of in‐shell almonds from water stains. Exports are forecast to gain 20 percent to 90,000 tons on stronger demand from the European Union and China.

EU production is forecast down 15 percent to 124,000 tons as frost cut yields in Spain and Italy. Despite an expected 6‐percent rise in imports to 315,000 tons, consumption is forecast flat on reduced supplies.

World almond, walnut, and pistachio production and trade is concentrated in a handful of countries, with the United States holding a commanding position in terms of production and exports. Marketing year 2020/21 was used as the reference year for comparisons of commodity volumes.

Almond production as well as trade was dominated by the United States, followed by a modest contribution from Australia.

Walnuts were primarily produced in and exported by China, the United States, and Chile.

Pistachio production was concentrated in the United States, Turkey, and Iran, while exports were dominated by the United States and Iran.

Import markets were more diverse as compared to producers and exporters, although almonds, walnuts, and pistachios relied on the European Union as a major destination. Top almond markets included the European Union, India, and China, with 30 other countries importing notable quantities.

Top walnut markets included the European Union, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with 28 other importing countries.

Major pistachio markets included China, the European Union, and India, with 32 other importing countries.

Since supply and demand concentration has remained steady over the last decade, it seems likely this situation will continue over the next several years. The United States is unlikely to lose market share to Australias limited almond output. Top almond importers will also likely continue to account for most trade gains, though minor markets UAE and Japan could see noteworthy improvements. Although China and the United States dominate walnut production and exports, additional output in Chile and Ukraine could translate to higher exports to secondary markets such as the UAE, South Korea, and Japan. For pistachios, the United States and Iran seem content to trade positions of top exporter, depending on which has the on‐year of the alternate bearing crop cycle. Top pistachio importers should continue accounting for most trade increases, though minor markets Turkey and Saudi Arabia have the potential to see imports rise above recent levels.

Agro Perspectiva

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