US walnut report, January 2023

Date: 15th February 2023 Category: Latest News
US walnut report, January 2023

Carry-in from the prior season: 137,969
2022 Crop Receipts (to date): 747,870
Total available for shipment: 885,839
Less: Shipments to date thru Jan 31: 323,891
Remaining unshipped supply: 561,948
Less: Commitments as of Jan 31: 200,000
Remaining supply available for sale: 361,948


The December 31, 2022 inventory report announced crop receipts of 747,870 in-shell tons. Purchase Commitments of about 200,000 in-shell equivalent tons slightly exceed commitments at this time last season, which were about 195,000 in-shell tons. The majority of these commitments consist of shelled walnuts.

The remaining supply available for sale as of January 31 was about 362,000 in-shell equivalent tons. Many growers in California believe this figure is actually lower due to a lower-than-normal shell out rate and higher than normal levels of defects and dark color in this season’s crop. At this time, we cannot objectively measure the remaining “marketable supply’. (DercoFoods)


January shipments of in-shell and shelled walnuts were strong, putting season-to-date shipments of both ahead of last season’s pace. Buyers are taking advantage of historically low pricing and which is acting to improve global demand. The graph below illustrates overall shipments growing over the prior season, with shipments as a % of the crop at the same level as the prior season.

North America: January shelled walnut shipments demonstrated strong growth to USA (+33%) and Canada (+30%). Season to date growth to both countries is +15%. Demand in this region is growing as lower prices
are being pushed through to the consumer level.

Europe: January shipments of shelled walnuts to Europe were strong overall (+53%) which puts season-to-date shipments nearly on pace with the prior season (-3%). We anticipate shelled shipments to continue growing in this region over the next few months as buyers have now eaten through the most inventory of prior crop year and/or Chilean origin product. Inshell walnut shipments remained weaker in January (-6%), continuing the trend for this season (-44%). Lower quality in-shell in terms of color and defects has buyers cautious despite low prices.

Middle East / Africa: Both in-shell and shelled walnuts are showing strong growth this season which continued in January. Growth is being driven by a combination of factors, including historically low prices, the earlier timing of Ramadan, and difficulty in exporting walnuts from China earlier in the season due to COVID restrictions (this has now eased). Inshell shipments are +95% for January and +49% season to date. Shelled shipments are +76% for January and +53% season to date.

Asia / Pacific Rim: January shipments to this region were weak with in-shell -56% and shelled -31% compared to January of 2022. Inshell shipments are notably lower to India, where buyers are anxiously awaiting the beginning of the Chilean harvest, and Vietnam, where it seems the re-export business is slowing. Shelled shipments are notably lower to Japan (-46%) and Korea (-34%).


January shipments from California were strong overall for both inshell and shelled walnuts. Pricing is at levels lower than we’ve seen anytime in recent history. This pricing trend positions walnuts as an exceptional value at a time when the cost of most food items is moving higher due to inflationary pressures.

There is still substantial unsold inventory in California. However, with demand picking up due to attractive pricing, many growers have substantially improved their sold positions in the past 2 months. Also, note that the inventory will eventually be reduced due to higher levels of dark-colored walnuts and walnuts with other defects. This product will be moved to non-traditional markets or disposed of oil stock or animal feed.

In the coming weeks, we anticipate seeing opening pricing from Chile. Some buyers are excited to see the typical high-quality product from Chile and will happily pay a premium. Other buyers will see California walnuts as an attractively priced alternative.


Source: DercoFoods