Turkey: Hazelnut prices fall early in season
Hazelnuts prices in Turkey are headed lower at the start of the hazelnut season this year from last year.
A kilo of hazelnuts (in shell) was worth nearly 22 Turkish lira ($10) last year per kilo as a devastating frost in March reduced the size of the harvest, according to a trade organization.
Turkey is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts: Turkey’s Black Sea, northern Turkish coast provides around 75 percent of the world’s hazelnuts.
Turkish hazelnuts generally ripen between the beginning and the end of August, depending on the latitude of the field.
Their price has fallen from almost 13 Turkish lira ($4.3) to 11 Turkish lira ($3.6) in the first week of September.
Arslan Soydan, a board member of the Union of Turkish Agricultural Chambers from Ordu province, said they did not expect a sharp drop in hazelnut prices: “We thought the price would go up, but prices are falling day by day because a massive amount of nuts has come to market.”
Soydan noted that the Turkish State used to buy hazelnuts through Fiskobirlik (the Union of Hazelnut Sales Cooperatives). In 2009, state aid was removed. “Since then, the price is determined in the free market,” he added.
He pointed out that some producers must sell their production early to pay their expenses. “The price last year was 22 Turkish lira for a kilo. If the price this year remains lower than the price last year, farmers will leave their hazelnut farms.”
The Turkish hazelnut industry earned $1.73 billion from hazelnut exports in 2013, according to the Istanbul Hazelnut and Products Exporters Association, shipping more than 276,000 tons of hazelnuts to almost 110 countries. Last year, they earned $2.3 billion after shipping more than 252,500 tons. Production of hazelnuts in Turkey usually reaches nearly 600,000 tons a year.
“The first entity created by the growers of hazelnuts was the equivalent to the Nut Growers Society and began an Annual Meeting tradition in 1915. The Society celebrated 100 years of meetings in 2015. Through the years the industry leaders have added three other organizations with specific responsibilities. They have kept the organizations united and enjoyed efficiencies by having one industry office.”