Hazelnuts: more than just a typo
Mundus Agri. News from Turkey is devastating. Not only did president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan win Sunday’s runoff with a 52% majority, but last week’s International Nut and Dried Fruit Council Congress in London came as a wakeup call for hazelnuts.
Excessive carry-in stocks
Trouble is not so much that the INC had to revise the production estimate for Spain over 2,500 mt upwards to 25,000 mt after Almendrave, the Association of Almond and Hazelnut Exporters of Spain, intervened but rather Turkey’s excessive end-of-season stocks. At 215,00 mt (in-shell basis), the country will account for 93% of the global 230,900 mt end-of-season stocks in 2022/2023. Or to put it bluntly Turkey is the only major player that was not able to sell substantial amounts of its production this season, despite being the absolute market leader.
This position is, however, starting to come under fire. Suppliers highlight that Turkey has lost much ground in the past ten years. As Turkey’s crop is projected at 810,000 mt the country may still account for 63% of global production in 2023/2024, which is forecast at 1.825 million mt, but other production countries are certainly catching up. While countries other than Turkey produced less than 200,000 mt ten years ago, they have now increased production to 450,000 mt. International competition will certainly become fierce, and suppliers are already feeling the effects. As prices range up to USD 1.000/kg lower in Azerbaijan and Georgia many buyers in Europe, for instance, state that they prefer hazelnuts from here. American hazelnuts are also turning into a satisfying alternative. Suppliers in Turkey know that long-term planning is required to be able to maintain a good position internationally.
Problem, however, is that the market is unhinged from the normal dynamics of supply and demand and Erdoğan’s victory over his rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in Sunday’s runoff spells trouble in this respect. His unorthodox interest rate policies will continue. The Turkish lira already hovered on an all-time low against the US dollar on Monday and a black market for foreign currencies exists now. While banks offer an exchange rate of TRY 20.05 for a US dollar, exchange rate offices are already offering TRY 21.50. Expectation is that exchange rates will climb to TRY 24-25 very soon.