According to the INC – International Nut & Dried Fruit Council, estimates for the 2016/17 production of nuts (peanuts excluded) should reach 4 million tons against the 3.8 of the past season (i.e. a 5.8% increase). The association gathers 700 businesses from over 70 countries worldwide and recently published its Global Statistical Review. 

During the next campaign, the best performing product will be pistachios, with a 37% increase and volumes little below 704 thousand tons. Over half (around 363 thousand tons) will come from the US.

Almond harvesting in the US. (Archive photo)

Peanut volumes will grow by 1.8%, although the data also includes the quantities destined to the processing industry. Considering only fresh peanuts, production will be 24 million tons. The leading producers are China and India, which are both investing in new plantations. In the two countries, cultivated areas have increased by 15 and 28% respectively.

As regards dried fruit, the INC reports a volume of 2.9 million tons, i.e. 4.4% more than 2015/16. The products that will grow the most will be dried apricots and cranberries (12% for both).

The US is the leading producer, California in particular, despite the four years of drought. Many growers have learned how to use water more efficiently and things are going better - there are good profits as well as an increase in the number of almond, pistachio and walnut trees planted.

The US are followed by China and Turkey. The former is catching up with the US for what concerns walnut production, while the latter will be the leading hazelnut producer in 2016/17, as it will cover 70% of global supplies.