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Oregon hazelnut prices down 18% after bumper crop in Turkey

Oregon hazelnut growers will receive a starting minimum price of 96.5 cents a pound for their crop this fall, the Hazelnut Growers Bargaining Association announced Tuesday.

The price, agreed on with the help of a mediator by the association and area packers, was down considerably from last year’s starting price of $1.18 a pound.

“The price is lower than probably the growers were expecting,” said Doug Olsen, the association’s president. “But that is where the market came out, and it is a good place to start so we can move this crop.”

Several factors combined to push down the initial minimum price this year, including a “massive” Turkish crop, said Terry Ross, the association’s executive director, who represented growers in the negotiations.

This year’s Turkish crop is expected to reach about 750,000 tons, which is up 150,000 to 200,000 tons from last year, Ross said.

Plus, the quality of the Turkish hazelnuts “is really good,” he said.

The value of the Turkish lira continues to fall against the dollar, which makes Turkish hazelnuts a better buy for international buyers, to the detriment of Oregon hazelnut growers.

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