Walnuts yields in Ukraine – expectation of walnut producers
According to Agroinsider In the current season, the harvest of walnuts in Ukraine will grow to 132 thousand tons, or 22% compared with last year, the USDA forecasts. According to the calculations of the agency, the export of this product will also increase – by 15% to last year’s level, to 90 thousand tons.
Such a significant increase in yields is due to much more favorable weather conditions compared to last year. The head of the cooperative “Nut of the Black Sea Coast” Pavel Tulba explained that the frosts in early May-2017 occurred just during the flowering period of walnut, which led to a decrease in last year’s harvest. “This year this did not happen, so the harvest will be greater,” he said.
However, manufacturers should be prepared for difficulties with sales. In particular, the head of the sales department of Horus Group Dmitry Ivanov noted that in Turkey, which is one of the five largest buyers of Ukrainian walnut, demand may drop sharply. The reason is the devaluation of the Turkish lira, which has more than halved from March to September this year, respectively, import goods for the Turks have become much more expensive. “As of now, Turkey has received far fewer requests for nuts,” he stated.
Nevertheless, Dmitry Ivanov expects that the export of Ukrainian walnut will decrease insignificantly because of problems in Turkey, since its purchase volumes are not pricing. Other major buyers remain on the global market – the EU, Azerbaijan and Russia, buying Ukrainian walnut through Belarus.
Pavel Tulby has more cautious forecasts. According to him, Turkey occupies 80% of the market of imported nuts, and is really not ready to buy them in the former volumes. In addition, very much reduce consumption and other countries that were traditional buyers of walnuts from Ukraine – Iran, Iraq, Syria. The reason is the decrease in the purchasing power of the population. “They have a culture of consuming nuts – every Muslim eats a large number of them. But if in the best of times he bought 30 kg of nuts a year, now – only 5 kg, because the nut – this is not a product of first necessity, but rather a laxter segment. With the fall of the well-being of citizens, nuts are the first thing they refuse to do, “he said.
In addition, noted Tulba, the world’s walnut market operates the two largest players with huge volumes of production – the US and China. According to him, in California this year the harvest will be almost 1 million tons, in China – more than 1 million tons. “The market is already experiencing overproduction of nuts, and the price for them has been steadily falling for the last 4-5 years,” he said. In particular, if last year the Ukrainian walnut in the shell cost 1 dollar per kg, today in Uzbekistan the price for fresh walnut is only 25 cents / kg. “I think that in the Ukrainian market it will cost 25-30 cents per kg before the end of the year,” he predicted.
In Ukraine, the overwhelming majority of walnuts are collected by the population on personal plots or in the surrounding areas, while the share of production by specialized enterprises is low. Nevertheless, according to USDA estimates, this ratio is changing in favor of industrial collection: the share of “home-grown” supplies decreased from 84% in 2016 to 74% in 2017, and will continue to decline due to the growing interest in commercial production.