EghtesadOnline: Close to 200,000 tons of pistachios are estimated to be produced in Iran during the current Iranian year that started on March 21, marking a decline of 80,000 tons compared to last year’s production, an official with the Agriculture Ministry said.
“The expected decrease is due to extreme cold and hot temperatures experienced by pistachio orchards this year,” Shokrollah Hajivand was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
Hajivand noted that production in Kerman Province—Iran’s pistachio production hub—is estimated to register a 75% fall and reach between 25,000 and 30,000 tons this year, Financial Tribune reported.
Iran and the US account for 85% of the global production of pistachio (dry in-shell basis), according to Iran Pistachio Association.
The two countries have switched places as world’s biggest pistachio producer over the years. However, statistics show Iran has been behind its rival in pistachio production during the last two crop years.
Iran’s production has been badly hit by the country’s worsening water crisis. According to the association, every year between 8,000 and 12,000 hectares of Iran’s pistachio orchards are lost due to water shortage and soil salinity.
Estimates put pistachio orchards in Iran span around 300,000 hectares.
Iran’s annual domestic demand for pistachio amounts to 35,000-45,000 tons, accounting for 20% of the total output.
Iran Pistachio Association’s Secretariat has told Financial Tribune that the value of Iran’s domestic pistachio market is estimated to be around $500 million (p.a.) while the global pistachio market is worth more than $5.5 billion (p.a.).
On average, Iran exports 80% of its total pistachio yields.
Iran exported 120,000 tons of pistachios worth about $1.10 billion during the Sept. 2016-17 crop year.
China, Germany, India, Iraq, and Kazakhstan are the main customers of Iranian pistachios; Turkey and UAE are reexport markets.
According to the secretariat, 80% of Iran’s pistachio exports go to only 10 countries.