Almond & Macadamia Nuts in High Demand
US almond crop prospects have improved recently, resulting in some cheaper offers, and prices could retreat further still, according to industry sources. Strong demand for the nuts is also expected to continue although some uncertainties persist, including how trade negotiations will progress between the USA and key customers Europe and China, not to mention a fluctuating euro/dollar exchange rate.
At the time of writing, the trade war between the USA and China was not affecting prices because China only takes 8% of US exports. However, that could change if President Trump’s tariffs on other customers spark off reprisals.
Demand for macadamia nuts appears to be keeping up with or exceeding growth in new suppliers, according to European trade sources.
Supply for the current season was estimated around 52 000 tonnes but stocks have been mostly used up. Kernels especially have been hard to find and will likely remain so until Kenyan and Malawian crops arrive later in the year, followed by fresh harvests from Australia and South Africa. The shortage has reportedly caught some traders out as sellers have concentrated on selling more to China in-shell before they start processing for the European market. The trade is also watching the evolution of trade wars between the USA and China. Europe has been showing strong demand, mainly for Australian and South African macadamias, while Kenya is still trying to surmount a reputation for falling short on quality – though some of its packers are said to be able to meet European standards.
Green & Gold Macadamias, a top supplier of processed mac nuts saw opportunities among the growing US and European vegan population, especially younger generations, to which macadamia suppliers can respond. They noted macadamias were high in protein and rich in healthy fats and fibers. They could also become more important as a large-scale ingredient for food manufacturers.
Source: Summer edition – Snacks Magazine