Chilean walnuts have explosive growth in India

It is no surprise that India is a big market for nuts. It has 1.3 billion inhabitants and a strong culture of nut consumption.

In 2017 Chile expects to export 5 thousand tons of nuts to India, which would allow India to enter the top five main destinations for Chilean walnuts in shell (currently it is in the 9th position). In 2016, Chile exported 574 tons of walnuts with shells to the Asian subcontinent. The main destinations that year were Turkey, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, and Germany.

Projections are even brighter for 2018. "That year, the figure could triple and reach 15 thousand," said Karl Samsing, the president of the Chilean Walnut Commission.

This positive scenario is due to multiple factors, such as the powerful public-private joint work in the country, among other things. In August 2016, the entry of Chilean walnuts fumigated with phosphine was authorized after a long negotiation process with India, in which the SAG had a relevant role. Before India only allowed the entry of walnuts fumigated with methyl bromide (since the end of 2014). The authorization for the use of phosphine was only granted to Chile, which gives the country an enormous competitive advantages.

"This is only one of the factors. Another factor is the quality of our product. Consumers and importers recognize it is a superior product," added Carolina Vasquez, a commercial associate of ProChile in India.

The projected consumption in for 2017 is close to 50 thousand tons. Of these, 20 thousand will be produced locally, another 20 thousand will come from the United States, 5 thousand from Chile and another 2 thousand from Australia and Ukraine. According to information from importers, the market grows at an annual 30% rate and, according to expectations, by 2020/2021 consumption will reach 75,000 tons.

"There's been an increase in demand because, before, walnuts were considered a luxury product and now people understand the health benefits of dried fruits, including nuts," Carolina Vasquez added. The demand for walnuts during the festival season, including the most important celebration for Hindus (Diwali), is certainly very important, as consumption during that festival accounts for approximately 40% of annual consumption.

Given the future importance of this market, the Chilean Walnut Commission is planning an important promotion campaign in 2018, consisting of advertising, point of sale promotion, promotions in social networks, seminars aimed at importers, and participating in food fairs; all of which will be done with the support of ProChile and the Ministry of Agriculture.

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