Expectations for California’s pistachio crop have waned over the past few weeks, but 2022 is still projected to be a strong year. President of American Pistachio Growers, Richard Matoian explained that growers across the state are reporting smaller crop sizes than originally expected. “It looks like we’re going to be hovering somewhere around a billion pounds. Whereas, initially, I think it could have been as high as 1.2 billion pounds. So, the supply isn’t going to be as great as it once was believed,” Matoian noted.
This year was expected to be an “on” year for production, even after an abnormally large crop in 2021. If the 2022 crop hits the one-billion-pound mark, it would be the third consecutive year that production reached that level. Pistachio demand has remained strong, helping to address the abundance of supply. All markets aside from the European Union have increased demand for shipments of California pistachios.
“The numbers look good both for domestic and for export sales. Now having said that, the price is always another factor. So, I’m talking only about shipments,” Matoian explained. “The shipment numbers look good; they are up over every other year in comparison. The price seems to be holding fairly firm, especially when compared with other tree nut commodities.”
Lowered expectations for the pistachio crop could be beneficial for the industry over time. Prices could continue to remain stable or potentially even improve. While a smaller supply of California pistachios has the potential to positively impact prices, the overall supply available in the global market will depend on production levels from Iran and Turkey.
“My understanding is that Iran has another situation with weather that has affected their 2022 crop,” said Matoian. “I don’t have a good read at this point of what’s going on with Turkey. We don’t necessarily compete with them for in-shell sales, but certainly on the kernel side do compete with them around the world.”