Global pistachio market awaits Iranian produce

Business Materials 7 May 2015 00:30 (UTC +04:00)
A new report says Iran is getting prepared to shake the world’s pistachio nuts market with its high-quality nibbles.
Global pistachio market awaits Iranian produce

A new report says Iran is getting prepared to shake the world's pistachio nuts market with its high-quality nibbles, Press TV reported.

Iran has far more clout in this specific market than any other country and has competed with the US for the top spot to become the biggest pistachio grower.

However, Iranian sales of pistachios to the US and Europe have been hampered by sanctions.

Now as the talks between Tehran and the six-nation party, aka P5+1, to resolve the Western dispute over Iran's nuclear program continue for a final agreement, traders in the pistachio business are predicting lower prices over Iran's possible flooding of the market.

"The new supply will have an impact," Bloomberg quoted Hakan Bahceci, chief executive officer of Hakan Agro DMCC, a grain, nuts and pulses trading house based in Dubai.

The biggest losers may be Californian farmers who have doubled pistachio acreage over the past ten years despite drought conditions. Pistachio production in California started in earnest in 1979 and output hit 513 million pounds last year, more than triple the harvest in 2004, according to the US Administrative Committee for Pistachios.

But Iran did not stand idly by and increased its produce to dislodge the US from the top slot.

Last month, an Iranian official said the country reclaimed the position which it had long held.

Production of the nut surpassed 235,000 tons thanks to satisfactory precipitations and Iran's implementation of development measures for better yield, an official with the agriculture ministry, Ali Mohseni said.

Iran outpaced the United States as the top producer after unofficial figures of 240,000 tons of pistachio crop in the US for 2014 were brushed aside by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Mohseni said.

He also said Iran exported 180,262 tons of the nut worth $1.62 billion last year. Those exports marked a 50% rise both in terms of volume and value, the official added.

Iran also has the largest acreage of land dedicated to pistachio plantation, spread over more than 20 provinces in the country.

Up to 70% of Iran's pistachio crop comes from Kerman Province, which has an ideal climate and soil for growing the nutty fruit. The province, however, is grappling with years of drought which has affected farming.