Hazelnuts: buyers turn their backs on Turkey

Date: 20th January 2023 Category: Latest News
Hazelnuts: buyers turn their backs on Turkey

Mundus Agri. Things have taken such a bizarre turn in Turkey that buyers have switched to other hazelnut-producing countries such as Georgia, Azerbaijan, or Italy. Drought will, in fact, have a lasting impact on production in Italy.


Big TMO gamble in Turkey

Suppliers in Turkey are waiting for disaster to strike. The issue is that although the TMO may have only purchased around 131,000 mt of in shells this season, these supplies will eventually have to be sold along with last season’s carry-ins. Due to the upcoming general election in May and the presidential election in June, the government, however, has no interest in lower prices at present. The TMO’s full warehouses will become a burden if this year’s crop is good. Prospects are highly encouraging so far as the shrubs are developing well, and there are enough male flowers. Problem, however, is that the weather is too warm. This may spark early blooming and render the crop more vulnerable to sudden frosts in spring.


High prices put off buyers.

Raw hazelnut prices have risen a bit, although the last few days have been relatively uneventful. This trend is partly driven by exports and Ferrero and Mondelez having purchased more than anticipated. Although the demand is reportedly low, shipments were surprisingly strong in the last week of 2022. Turkey exported 10,626 mt of hazelnuts in the week ending on 01 January. This figure dropped to 2,665 mt in the week ending on 8 January and recovered again to 5,972 mt on 15 January. Exports will have to pick up in the second half of the month, if performance is to remain on track with recent years. January exports exceeded 25,000 mt in the last three years. Total exports have climbed to 138,955 mt worth USD 793 million this season so far.

Exporters, however, have little chance of attracting buyers at present. Prices are simply too high, with suppliers reporting that many customers are turning away. Enormous price gaps have prompted European buyers to turn to Italy, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Buyers in China are also waiting for better prices, and many still hold enough stocks in their warehouses. Suppliers are, however, convinced that attention will shift to Turkey again as soon as supplies become more limited in other countries.


Prolonged drought in Italy

As local media report, prolonged drought will have a sustained impact on this year’s production in Italy. The good news is that sales have been surprisingly good in the current season so far, despite electricity costs doubling and shipping increasing. The quality turned out to be quite good, despite peeling being more difficult. The effect of last year’s persistent drought, however, is that male catkins are scarce this year, which will limit pollination. Producers in Piedmont are also highly concerned over the present lack of precipitation. If it fails to rain soon, all their efforts to limit the stress for the shrubs will have been in vain. They currently expect production to be similar in size to last year.