World production in 2012-2013 is forecast to surge more than 30% to a record of nearly 650,000 (metric) tons as the U.S., Turkey, and Iran all benefit from favorable weather and the on-year of this highly alternate bearing crop.
Consumption is also expected to reach a new record on strong demand from import markets. As a result, exports are forecast to rise 18% to a record 336,000 tons.
U.S. production is up about 25% to 250,000 tons under excellent growing conditions and larger acreage. Meanwhile, domestic consumption is expected to be relatively unchanged. Exports are forecast to reach 180,000 tons, accounting for more than half of world trade. Major markets include China, Hong Kong, and the European Union (EU).
Iran’s production is forecast up 25% to 200,000 tons. Although production is up in Kerman province, harvested area is slightly lower. Khorasan-e-Razavi, the second highest producing province, is increasing harvested area as orchards come into production. Exports are forecast up more than 20%, reaching 140,000 tons. Iran ships to several regional trading partners, like Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, but also competes with the U.S. in the EU and China/Hong Kong markets.
Turkey’s production is forecast to skyrocket 150% to a record 125,000 tons. Last year’s crop was particularly small as poor weather coincided with the production off-year. However, most production is not traded, so this year’s large crop is expected to primarily support higher domestic consumption and rebuild stocks.
China’s imports are forecast 25% higher at 90,000 tons based on growing demand and abundant foreign supplies. Shanghai and Beijing are key markets for U.S. pistachios, whereas smaller cities prefer more competitively-priced imports from Iran. Total imports have nearly tripled in four years, surpassing the EU as the largest market.
Lower EU production and higher consumption is expected to mean more imports, mostly from the U.S. Imports are forecast at 65,000 tons, up more than 10% from the previous year.
Hong Kong’s imports are forecast to surge more than 55% to 30,000 tons with larger shipments coming from Iran and the U.S.