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Hazelnut harvesting will begin in a week

Turkey expects around 700,000 tons of hazelnut harvest this season, which will be about 80,000 tons more than in 2020. As a country with 60-75% shares in both global production & exports of hazelnuts, Turkish supply often determines worldwide prices.

Somewhat mixed signals are coming from Turkey this season: exporters are overall positive about production quantity, while producers voicing their worries about rising costs and unfavorable weather conditions.

According to Turkstat, agriculture input prices in Turkey have risen by 24.43% this May in year-on-year terms. Turkish hazelnut producers had their costs increased by about 70-80% due to rising prices on everything from plant protection to labor.

It’s worth mentioning that expected world average price increase on hazelnuts driven by rising costs of Turkish farmers may be slightly limited by the supply surge in Chile and USA, where hazelnut production is increasing noticeably and already hitting record highs.

Coming from increased costs and limited yields, Turkish producers think that hazelnut purchase price by the Turkish Grain Board (TMO), which sets a price floor and buys hazelnuts at an announced price, will be around 30 Turkish Liras per kg ($3.51). If true, this will be 8% more in USD terms than purchase price announced a year before ($3.24).

TMO price has very strong connection and almost one-to-one correlation to Turkish export prices, which in turn are influencing Georgian prices. Based on Turkish producers’ expectations and price relationships in previous years, we estimate that Turkish shelled hazelnuts from new harvest may be exported at about $7.30-7.70 per kilogram this year.

Georgia’s price is usually lower due to quality issues, and if there were no significant improvements in the upcoming season, we would expect Georgian shelled hazelnut export prices to be close to $6.10-6.40. Given good opinions about Georgia’s upcoming harvest, prices may rise over the mentioned range. Generally, the difference in two countries’ prices are viewed as an opportunity for Georgia to get more revenues by increasing quality.

At the start of this season Georgian farmers are already getting higher prices, but better quality is viewed as the main reason. As reported to Commersant.ge by “Geo Demo” enterprise director Shota Janjgava, the weather this year was drier, which resulted in overall better quality of in-shell hazelnuts.

According to George Todua, the head of the Georgian Hazelnut Growers Association, prices for inputs didn’t change much and plant protection and fertilization of 1 ha of hazelnut orchard costs about GEL 600-800 ($194-258, as of July 26). However, growers most probably will experience higher harvest prices, as there is a shortage of labor force and workers ask GEL 40-50 ($13-16) per day instead of GEL 25-30 ($8-10).

Overall, the whole hazelnut market is awaiting TMO to announce its purchasing price for the upcoming season. Turkish producers have good reasons to hope for higher price this year. Georgian farmers are also likely to get better prices due to quality improvements.

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