Hazelnuts: exports fail to revive
Mundus Agri. Although domestic demand for hazelnuts has finally revived in Turkey, the situation in the export market is still quite devastating. The trouble is that buyers in Europe have tightened their purse strings prior to Christmas as high costs and inflation are forcing businesses and consumers to curb spending.
Inflation curbs exports
Alarm bells are ringing over inflation throughout the EU and the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices issued by the European Central Bank (ECB) to monitor consumer price inflation shows sharp increases. While overall consumer prices ranged 9.9% higher in the euro area in September as compared with last year, consumer prices for food and beverages have surged by 13.8%. This is not only prompting governments to act in providing active financial support but also highlights the dynamics Europe’s hazelnut industry is confronted with. The issue is not only that high energy costs have rendered processing much more expensive, but retailers also report that consumers have switched to cheaper alternatives, which renders it extremely difficult to assess demand in advance. Businesses are, therefore, not buying the usual volumes required before Christmas and the sharp decline in Turkey’s hazelnut exports vividly illustrates this.
Turkey, in fact, only shipped 63,912 mt of hazelnuts worth USD 356 million overseas between 01 September and 06 November. Exports still lag 20% down on the 79,225 mt shipped overseas in the same period last year. In terms of value, exports even range 31% lower than the USD 518 million generated in the previous year. With Christmas, however, approaching, suppliers shipped all required volumes by 15 December, as traders reckon. With New Year also not far off, domestic demand has revived.