High yields, pressures to contain prices

The pistachio and the almond they are the forerunners of the collection of birch trees, just before autumn comes. Then comes the walnut, the collection of which will begin in early October. This year seems to be productive for all crops, but it raises many concerns for the collection itself, but also for the final income of the producers. Nuts and nuts in general are not a staple food item nor are they among consumers’ priorities, with the result that producer prices are one of the points of friction with traders.

Almond: Production hopes to compensate for low price

Loaded with the fruit trees in almost all of the country’s crops, the almond harvest for the current season has begun. Pessimistic points were once again the intense hailstorms observed during the summer, creating serious problems and affecting in some areas even 100% of production.

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At the same time, the absence of the labor force creates difficulties in the collection, as a result of which the collection costs also rise. All this makes the producers’ income for this year’s period to be considered ambiguous.

Thodoros Minas, an almond producer from Milea Elassonas, speaks of a good production in his area. “If we exclude the areas that were hit by hail, but also some of the late frosts, the picture of the trees is excellent. We started with the Tuono variety and then the others will follow.”

What concerns Mr. Minas is the price of the product as it is formed even before the start of the fruit collection. “Unfortunately, the messages we have from the market are not the best. The prices do not show an upward trend and everything will depend on the negotiation with the traders. If we include in this the increased production costs, the situation becomes even more difficult.”

Kostas Lanaras, almond producer and trader, also speaks of large production. As he emphasizes, this year is one of the best years of the last decade. “Since 2018, we have seen our trees loaded like this,” he says. He agrees on the high cost of production and believes that the price will be lower, compared to last year, “because consumers are turning their attention to basic food items”.

Total destruction in Serres

It may be that in the rest of the country the trees are loaded with almonds, but in the area of ​​Amfipolis Serres the situation is dramatic. The picture conveyed to us by the agronomist and almond producer, Athanasia Pasiali, is extremely heartbreaking. “The hailstorm not only destroyed this year’s production, but created serious problems for the trees, which we will encounter in the following growing seasons,” the agronomist emphasizes.

Excellent yields in Magnesia

Giorgos Fotou, who owns an almond crusher and cleaner, speaks of a production that surpasses any precedent in the Prefecture of Magnesia and the surrounding areas. “What we are seeing for the current season is the big crop yields. Many new plantings in recent years also contribute to this. But the problem is focused on the lack of workers”, he claims. In closing, he speaks of lower prices compared to last year’s season, as “currently in the warehouses there is unused product from the previous growing season”.

Walnut: Long road to collectionCounting the days until the harvest, walnut growers monitor the weather and their fear is focused on hailstorms. “If we overcome this problem, we will have a good result,” says Thanasis Gougoulis from Tsapournia Elassonas. However, he is concerned about the high cost of production, as it has been lately, but also the prices of the product. As he estimates, “the image of our trees may be good, but the fact that there is no mobility in the marketing of the product leaves many questions about the final price of walnuts in the current period”. Giorgos Kiatos, an agronomist from the same area, speaks about the hail damage suffered by Elassona. He estimates that the restoration of the trees “needs two to three years, so that they can return to production, which will cost the producers financially”. Finally, from Atalanti, Angelos Boutsikas reports that the production is good and he is worried about the weather conditions in the next period. “If we don’t have hailstorms, the results will definitely be positive,” he says.


Pistachio: Production doubled from last year

To double the yields in the current growing season are being discussed by the peanut producers of our country. They estimate that production may exceed 9,000 tons, up from about 4,000 last year.

But all eyes are on the collection, because this week’s rainfall, as well as the weather that follows, could create serious problems. As far as the price front is concerned, these will be determined by the demand of the markets, mainly abroad.

“The internal market shows significant weaknesses and what we are looking at are the moods abroad,” states the vice-president of the Stefanovikiou Producers Group, Christos Koukouselis. He also argues that “there is movement on the part of traders and the Euro-Dollar relationship will play an important role.”

In closing, he focuses on the dynamic development of the Production Team. “Last year we sold peanuts at 9.30 euros per kilo, open and at 8 euros per kilo, closed. The psychology of the market may be negative, however, with the appropriate handling and quality we will be able to keep these prices”, he concludes.

The Roma help to collect the fruits of the Sperchios

The lack of foreign workers created serious difficulties for the producers of Makrakomi to complete the pistachio collection. The proposal to collect the pistachios, and later the kiwis, from producers in the area, piqued the interest of the Roma of Fthiotida and hundreds of them are in Makri to collect the pistachios.

“It is a positive development for the collection, which can be continued for kiwifruits as well”, tells us Makis Bousgos, president of the Makris Pistachio Producers Group. At the same time, he is worried about the evolution of the price of the product from the market and especially from abroad.

“There may be mobility from Germany, Italy, Israel and other countries, but the picture is not the same as last year. It is too early to clarify the issue of prices, however we are closely following the developments”, he concludes. The statement of Yiannis Hondropoulos, an agronomist and producer from Molos Fthiotidas, moved along the same wavelength. He made special reference to the high yields, mainly of irrigated crops, as well as to the high production costs that significantly shape the producers’ income.

Closely monitoring the issue of prices, he spoke of a difficult period, which will judge the psychology of the market. “Producers should not back down and sell their product at low prices,” he strongly argued.

Production in Psachna hit by the cold

The region of Psachna, with a history of pistachio cultivation, seems to be having problems compared to the rest of the country. “Our production may be better than last year,” says Kostas Tzavaras, a pistachio producer from Psachna, “but the low temperatures during fertilization significantly affected the yields we expected,” he argues.

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The article is in Greek

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