There is a lower availability of walnuts from Portugal. Tiago Mendes Pinto, commercial director of Portuguese walnut exporter Nogam, states that’s it’s not quite the season they had expected: “For the walnut season, we’re having a bad year in terms of the production. Volumes were slightly lower than we had expected. This had multiple reasons. For one, we experienced unexpected meteorological conditions, as well as harsh pruning. This played an impactful role in the loss of volume this year. The quality is uneven with heterogeneous batches, not exactly what we’re used to at Nogam. On the other hand, the calibers were better this year, as we’ve seen 50% of the walnuts being calibers over 34.”
The restriction in availability means that Nogam is not able to expand their markets as much as they’d like, Pinto explains. “We are having difficulty managing client’s requests, as the demand is higher than the available supply quantity. Nevertheless, we’re doing our best to guarantee that every request is answered, ensuring that our quality standards are fulfilled and respected every step of the way. The walnut market hasn’t changed that much since last year. With the campaign not being what we had envisioned, we weren’t able to explore new clients and open new markets. Compared to last year’s campaign we have not seen a substantial change in the walnut market.”
Walnuts always perform well during the Christmas season and so it’s expected a busy period is ahead: “Fortunately, and as direct a result of less volume, we no longer have a lot of inshell left to sell. We are now fully focused on the production of shelled walnuts and have good expectations for the upcoming Christmas season. The demand for this type of product is growing and we will be sure to seize the opportunity over the holiday period,” Pinto concludes.