Positive Expectations for U.S. Pistachios Going Forward

Brian German Industry, Nuts & Grapes

U.S. Pistachios

Analysts are expecting good things for U.S. pistachios in the years ahead. As production continues to increase, projections indicate that demand will largely be able to keep pace. Senior Analyst of Fresh Produce and Tree Nuts for RaboResearch, David Magaña expects a positive year for pistachio growers.

“What we’re expecting is overall favorable market conditions for the U.S. The industry is expecting the crop out of Turkey will be lower given the heavy alternate bearing of the crop over there. Also, it is reported that the crop out of Iran will also be impacted by a freeze again this season,” Magaña explained. He also noted the average estimate for California production is roughly 900 million pounds, which would be a record for an off-year. “Given that, and the lower production globally, we think that that should keep prices up for U.S. pistachios.”

Pistachio acreage has been steadily increasing in recent years, with expectations for that trend to continue. The RaboResearch report projects demand to stay strong and to mirror the expected increases in production in the coming years. “We are expecting that under standard market conditions and with the economic recovery that we are seeing starting from this year, that the global market and the domestic market will be able to absorb these increased pistachio supplies from California,” Magaña noted.

Efforts to increase pistachio consumption will play an important role in keeping demand strong. The industry has been working to showcase the health benefits of pistachios and improve marketing strategies at the retail level. Global demand will have a strong impact on U.S. pistachios, as the industry is heavily reliant on export markets.

“In the next few years, we’re hoping we’ll have freer access to some Asian markets. At the same time, expecting that the EU will continue demanding more pistachios,” said Magaña. “Also, in the domestic market, the per-capita consumption has been growing particularly fast over the last five years.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West