The global production of almonds has grown by 6% in this campaign. Consumption of this superfood, which is very linked to the production of sweets, is growing every year as an aperitif and ingredient of bars or snacks in the EU, China, or India.
World production of almonds this season reached a record 1.3 million tons, 6% above what was produced in the 2016/17 season, according to the latest estimates of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
This volume, calculated in metric tons of almonds in grain, will allow supplying the growing consumption of this nut, which will have a demand of 1.2 million tons this season, i.e. 4% more than in the past season; hence, there will be around 233,000 tons in stock.
Decrease in the estimate for California
The USDA reduced its forecast for the United States - which mainly produces this nut in California - from 1.21 million tons forecast in August to one million tons because of the lower yields in flowering due to meteorological factors.
Almond production in the European Union stood at 103,000 tons, i.e. 13% more than in 2016/17 campaign, thanks to the boost of Spain's harvest, as the Italy produced similar volume levels as in the previous campaign.
Two weeks ago, Jose Maria Alcacera, a member of the organization Asaja in the National Table of Dry Fruits, told Efeagro they had revised the data of the last campaign capacity in June (which was 56,513 tons, i.e. 23.21% more than in 2016) and concluded it had to be lowered to 52,000 or 53,000 tons of almond grain.
The EU imports 3% more American almonds
The USDA doesn't rule out that shipments of Californian almonds to the European Union (EU), where Spain is the main importer, will rise by 3% and exceed 300,000 tons, thanks to the demand of the European industry dedicated to the manufacture of food ingredients, snacks, and confectionery products.
Australia, the third biggest producer, achieved 90,000 tons, that is 10% more than in the previous season.
Appetizers and healthy drinks with almonds
The report also highlighted the growth of Californian almond imports by China (100,000 tons) and by India (95,000 tons), which exceed the figure recorded in the previous season by 7% and 8%, respectively, and which corresponds to their demand in the healthy eating, drinks, sweets, and snacks categories.
Regarding the world production of nuts, the US agricultural authority stated that it expected production to fall to 2.1 million tons, one million of which correspond to China (-6%), 590,000 tons 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 to Turkey (-5%).
The USDA included data on pistachio for the first time in its nut report, but only those relating to the 2016/17 campaign (777,000 tons, +50%) and didn't make a forecast for 2017/18.
The USA is the largest producer of pistachio with 407,000 tons. It is followed by Turkey (155,000 tons), Iran (153,000 tons), China (116,000 tons) and the EU (89,000 tons).