Pistachios: frost wipes out crop
Frost has caused severe damage in Kerman Province, where Iran mainly produces pistachios. Although farmers witnessed warmer weather in the second half of March, temperatures suddenly dropped close to freezing in the last five days of the month. The farmers' efforts to protect their crops, such as burning tires in the gardens, proved useless.
Traders report that not enough action was taken, primarily since local meteorologists had issued a yellow warning. Initial reports indicate that 75% of the gardens witnessed 30-90% damage throughout the province, including Rafsanjan, Anar, Zarand, Shahr-e Babak, Sirjan, and Kerman counties, where pistachios are mainly grown. Some farmers in Anar County even state that their crops have been destroyed, which will undoubtedly impact export supplies for Kalle Ghuchi, Ahmad Aghaei, and Fandoghi pistachios. Producers are also reporting an equally lousy situation in Zarand County, where pistachios are crucial for the economy, and many people are now facing significant financial losses. Frost, in addition, damaged as much as 36,000 ha in Sirjan County by 20-100% as temperatures dropped to -5C in some places. (mundus agri)
Kerman's economy now faces serious challenges. The province largely depends on pistachios, but the nuts are also a valuable export product that enables suppliers to import foreign currencies. Traders reckon that Iran will lose valuable market shares this year. Although frost-related damages indeed drove up prices at the start of April, the market has remained relatively firm over the last two weeks as supply and demand are well balanced. (Mundus Agri)