The EU's walnut imports have grown at an annual rate of 11% in terms of both value and volume. Already in 2017, imports reached a record value of 1.1 billion Euro, with a volume totaling 207 thousand tons (both shelled and unshelled). Italy, Germany and Spain are the largest importers of walnuts and offer good business opportunities, as they together account for 60% of total imports. There are other countries with a high per capita consumption, such as the Netherlands and Austria, where there are also good prospects. Furthermore, there are emerging markets in Central Europe, such as Poland and the Czech Republic, which are also worth taking into account.
Chile is the largest supplier of this product among developing countries, reports the Center for the Promotion of Imports of Developing Countries (CBI). In the South American country, the acreage devoted to the production of walnuts is increasing at a rate of 1,500 to 2,000 hectares per year, and the annual production is expected to grow by between 15 and 20%. The volumes could grow by up to five times in the next five years and reach some 500 thousand tons.
The CBI also says that the European Union is not self-sufficient to supply itself with walnuts. Its main producers of shelled walnuts are France, Romania, Greece, Germany, Spain and Italy. Meanwhile, the largest suppliers of unshelled walnuts in the region are France, Romania and Italy. The crop is expanding in these territories, but slowly.