Walnut shipments from Chile gathered pace in June as packers strained to overcome a slow start to the season amid easing logistics issues.
The country shipped 28,105 inshell equivalent (ISE) mt in June, up 10% from a year earlier, according to a shipping report released on Wednesday by the Chilean walnut association, Chilenut.
Inshell shipments in June rose 10% on the year to 18,951 ISE mt, while shelled shipments increased 12% to 4,257 ISE mt. Year-to-date inshell shipments remain 16% down on last year at 37,692 mt while kernel shipments for the same period are down 2% at 6,816 mt.
Total year-to-date Chilean shipments for the 2022 crop year, which runs from March to February, stand at 52,350 ISE mt, down 13% on the year but up 13% on the comparable 2020 period.
The 2020-2021 crop year is a more reliable yardstick, sources said. The 2021-2022 crop year is considered an unusual year because Chilean shipments were driven to unprecedented volumes due to a reduction in the country’s crop estimate that year.
By the end of June, Chilean purchase commitments accounted for just 59.4% of total supply, down from over 80% last year and 70% in 2020, according to the Chilenut data.
Inshell exports to Turkey – historically Chile’s strongest market – rose in June as Chile shipped 4,767 mt to the country, up 17%from last year. However, year-to-date inshell shipments to Turkey are down 34% on the year.
Market sources said Turkish buyers have been keenly awaiting the June shipments numbers as they weigh whether to secure lower-priced U.S. inshell material or to press for Chilean sellers to lower their premiums.
“Buyers in Turkey want to see how many loads Chile has shipped before deciding on buying new crop from the U.S.,” said a Middle East-based trader ahead of the publication of the Chilenut data. “Turkish buyers are hoping Chile will lower their price for the unsold inventory.”
India has replaced Turkey as Chile’s largest inshell market this year, with 5,380 mt moving to the country in June, up 19% on the year.
Year-to-date shipments to India stand at 10,486 mt, up 10% from last year.
Chilean June kernel shipments to Europe, Chile’s biggest market for kernel items, jumped 14% year-on-year to 3,206 mt. However, year-to-date shipments to Europe are down 4% at 4,619 mt.