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Chilean walnut shipments slow in August

September 22, 2022

The pace of Chilean walnut shipments fell in August as increasing inshell exports to Turkey were offset by lower inshell deliveries to India and Europe.

Meanwhile, shipments of kernels during the month also slipped across the key destination markets of Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  

Chile shipped 19,802 inshell equivalent (ISE) mt in August, down 7% from the year-ago month and the lowest monthly total since May, according to an August 2022 shipping report released on September 15 by Chilean walnut association, Chilenut.

Year-to-date shipments to August rose to 98,610 ISE mt, but are still 1% lower on the year.

Overall inshell shipments in August fell 2% month year-on-year to 10,425 mt, the lowest for four months, while kernel shipments dropped by 11% to 4,360 mt. Crop year-to-date inshell shipments now stand at 3% below the corresponding 2021 period at 63,974 mt, while shelled shipments for the same period are up 5% to 16,106 mt.

Walnut purchase commitments reported by Chilenut member companies still lag previous years. By September 15, they accounted for 81.2% of total supply, down from around 92% last year and nearly 90% in 2020, according to the Chilenut data.

August shipments to Chile’s largest inshell market, India, declined 8% month year-on-year to 3,607 mt, the lowest monthly haul since April, the start of the season. Indian buyers said higher booked volumes in the intervening months were driven by declining Chilean inshell prices.

Chilean Chandler 30-34 inshell was priced as high as $2.70/kg FOB in mid-May but averaged $2.22/kg FOB in the first three weeks of September, according to Stratamarkets data.

Chilean kernel shipments to Europe dropped 13% month year-on-year in August to 3,402 mt, although crop year-to-date shipments are 6% ahead of at the same time last year, at 11,807 mt.

Some Chilean packers have expressed concern at their ability to improve their sold position, particularly in kernels, into Europe and the Middle East and have instead focused on sales into local South American markets.

Chilean walnut shipments to South America this season are up 25% compared with the same period last year, with Brazil proving to be a bright spot. Kernel shipments to the country are up 30% crop year-to-date at 1,380 mt.