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Higher exports of Georgian hazelnuts compared to last season

September was a successful month for Georgian hazelnut exporters, due to unusual demand on in-shell hazelnuts from Italy.

Last month, Georgian hazelnut exports, both kernel and in-shell, amounted USD 24.5 million. This is 23% more than in September 2020, which was deemed to be a good year given the recovery from the brown marmorated stink bug invasion. Total export volumes on kernel basis have increased by 22%, from 3.4 million kilograms to 4.2.

This improvement is caused by the unprecedented surge in in-shell hazelnut exports. Usually Georgia earns more from hazelnut kernels than from hazelnuts in shell. For example, in last 3 years, both kernel export value and volume are about 11 times higher than those in-shell exports.

Without the increase in in-shell hazelnut exports, or in other words, if there was no year-on-year growth compared to September 2020, total hazelnut export value in September 2021 would be 1% lower compared to the same period a year before.

Source: Ministry of Finance of Georgia

According to Georgian exporters, there is a strong demand on in-shell hazelnuts from Italy. This is linked with the supply shortage on Italian market, which did not have a good local harvest this year. In-shell hazelnuts are destined for processing sector, so there is no very strict demand on the walnuts quality. Thus, this is a temporary opportunity for Georgian growers. As a result, export prices for in-shell hazelnuts is higher by 7% compared to September 2020.

In-shell hazelnut exports in September 2021 amounted to USD 6.1 million, or 2.3 million kilograms (in-shell basis). Export value is 400% more than year before, while volume has increased by 367%.

Source: Ministry of Finance of Georgia

Interestingly, we are seeing a slight reduction in kernel basis exports. Both volume and value are down by 2% compared to September last year, and there is no change in export prices. This reduction is caused by two factors: initially delayed harvesting due to rains, and producers waiting for a better moment to sell their top quality hazelnuts.

Overall, exports during the first two months of the new season are better than in the previous seson. Revenue from hazelnut exports reached USD 32.7 million, which is an increase of 16%.

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