By Mzingaye Ndubiwa of Tridge – The first three months of the 2020/21 export season have seen Turkish hazelnut exports decrease by 58,393 tons, compared to the same period last year. This dramatic drop in export figures has two potential causes, the decrease in hazelnut production in the country, estimated at 22% lower than the previous year, and the increase in hazelnut purchasing prices.
Overview of September to November export trends
Turkey is currently the leading exporter of hazelnut in the world. The country’s main export destination is the EU, accounting for over 74% of total exports during the 1st 3 months of this season. The first quarter of the hazelnut export season began on the 1st of September and ended on the 30th of November. According to the Black Sea Hazel Products Exporters’ Union, Turkish hazelnut exports reached 81,421 tons during the first 3 months of this season, dropping significantly from the 139,814 tons that were exported during the same period last year. In terms of exported value, the country suffered a USD 345K M decrease in export revenue. November, in particular, saw the lowest export figures in the last 17 seasons, at 22,910 tons, amounting to USD 156 M.
Current production and pricing trends
Turkey is currently undergoing a period of hyperinflation which has led to a sharp increase in production costs. This rise in production costs has led to a decrease in the country’s hazelnut nut production in 2020. According to estimates from the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) earlier this year, the Turkish hazelnut harvest was expected to drop to 620K tons, a 22% decrease from the previous year. Similar estimates were reported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Turkey, the Statistical Office of Turkey, and the Hazelnut Products Exporters Association. The reduced hazelnut exports this season can be attributed to this decrease in production and this trend is expected to continue throughout the 2020/21 export season.
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