New record in world almond production

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Angélica Quintana. Efeagro.

The world production of almond has grown this season by 6%, reaching a harvest volume of 1.3 million tonnes


Almond production rises as a result of a consumption increase.

The world production of almond has increased this season by 6%. The consumption of this ‘super food’ is very linked to the production of confectionary products and it increases each year as an aperitif, an ingredient in snack bars or other snacks in the EU, China or India.

The world almond harvest this season has reached a record volume of 1.3 million tonnes, 6% on the volume registered in 2016/17, according to the latest estimates available from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Calculating this volume in metric tonnes of seed almond will enable covering the increasing consumption of this dry fruit, the demand for which will stand at 1.2 million tonnes this season, 4% more on the previous season. Stored stocks are around 233,000 tonnes.

The USDA reduces its forecast for the United States, whose production is mainly located in California and will descend from 1.21 million tonnes allocated in August to one million tonnes. This decrease is attributed to lower yields in flowering due to meteorological factors.

Almond production in the European Union stands at 103,000 tonnes, 13% more than in 2016/17, thanks to the boost of the Spanish harvest, since the volume in Italy has remained at similar values to those obtained the previous season.

Two weeks ago, the member of the agricultural organization Asaja, José María Alcácera, in a statement to Efeagro, reviewed the figures downwards at the National Board for Dry Fruits and Nuts, with an estimated production of 52,000 or 53,000 tonnes of seed almond, when the initial output data for last season carried out in June, placed the Spanish harvest at 56,513 tonnes, 23.21% more than in 2016.

The USDA does not rule out that shipments of Californian almond to the European Union and Spain, who is the main importer, will rise by 3% and exceed 300,000 tonnes. All this thanks to the demand of the European industry dedicated to the manufacture of food ingredients, snacks or snack bars and confectionery.

Australia, the third producer, appears with 90,000 tonnes, which is 10% more on the previous season.

The report also highlights the increase in the amount of Californian almond imported by China (100,000 tonnes) and India (95,000 tonnes), which exceeds the figure registered the previous season by 7% and 8% respectively, and corresponds to their demand of healthy eating food categories, drinks, confectionary and snacks.

With regards to the world nut production, the US agricultural authority expects production to fall to 2.1 million tonnes, of which one million correspond to China (–6%); 590,000 tonnes to the USA (–5%); 120,000 to Chile (+2.5%); 115,000 to the EU (–1.4%); 113,000 to Ukraine (+ 5%) and 58,000 tonnes to Turkey (–5%).

The USDA has included data on pistachio for the first time in its report on nuts, but only those related to the season 2016/17 (777,000 tonnes, +50%), and without an estimate for 2017/18. The United Estates is the largest pistachio producer (407,000 tonnes), ahead of Turkey (155,000 tonnes), Iran (153,000 tonnes), China (116,000 tonnes) or the EU (89,000 tonnes).