Tree Nuts Annual 2011

An Expert's View about Horticulture and Support Services in Greece

Last updated: 15 Sep 2011

Greece is the third largest producer of almonds in the EU-27, after Spain and Italy. Per capita consumption of tree nuts in Greece at 17 kilos/year is the highest in the EU and one of the highest in the world.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary Public - Date: 8/22/2011 GAIN Report Number: GR1109 Greece Post: Rome Greece - Cyprus Tree Nuts Annual 2011 Report Categories: Tree Nuts Approved By: James Dever Prepared By: Ornella Bettini Report Highlights: Greece is the third largest producer of almonds in the EU-27, after Spain and Italy. Per capita consumption of tree nuts in Greece at 17 kilos/year is the highest in the EU and one of the highest in the world. MY 2011/12 Greek almond production is forecast to decrease slightly due to heavy frost in December and adverse conditions in March that damaged the crop in the main producing areas. The United States is the main supplier almonds and pistachios to the Greek and Cypriot markets. GREECE Almonds Table 1: Production, Supply and Demand (MT) 2009 2010 2011 Estimates Estimates Forecast Almonds, Shelled 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012 Basis Post Data Post Data Post Data Area Planted 40,000 40,000 40,000 Area Harvested 38,000 38,000 37,000 Production 14,000 12,000 10,000 Imports 8,015 6,596 6,500 Total Supply 22,015 18,596 16,500 Exports 2,019 1,531 1,600 Domestic Consumption 19,996 17,065 14,900 Total Distribution 22,015 18,596 16,500 Source: Unofficial estimates based on Greek industry contacts; GTA PRODUCTION Greece is the third largest producer of almonds in the EU-27, after Spain and Italy. Almond cultivation in Greece has a long tradition and history. According to industry estimates, there are approximately 40,000 hectares currently cultivated for almonds, including all types of systematically cultivated orchards and a large number of scattered trees, which yield about 1,200 MT annually that is mostly for own consumption. The main almond producing areas include five prefectures (Katerini, Serres, Kavala, Magnisia, and Larissa) of Central Macedonia and Thessaly, located in northern Greece. The quality of Greek almonds is considered excellent and the most popular varieties are Ferragnes, Texas, Troito, and Retsou. The Ferragnes variety is growing in popularity and is replacing many traditional ones. MY 2011/12 Greek almond production is forecast to decrease slightly due to heavy frost in December and adverse conditions in March that damaged the crop in the main producing areas. CONSUMPTION Per capita consumption of tree nuts in Greece at 17 kilos/year is the highest in the EU and one of the highest in the world. Greek almond consumption is trending downward as a consequence of decreased production and imports. Almonds represent an important component of the Greek diet. Greeks consume almonds mainly as a snack food, and to a lesser extent, as an ingredient for confectionary products, such as ice cream and chocolate. TRADE Greece is a net importer of almonds. The United States is the main almond supplier to the Greek market, accounting for 70 percent of total imports. Spain also is an important supplier to the Greek market, accounting for 27 percent of the total. Imported almonds are destined mainly for the confectionary, ice cream, and chocolate industries, both for the domestic and re-export markets, mainly Bulgaria and Germany. Greek authorities have intensified aflatoxin controls on tree nuts, both in the wholesale and retail market chains. The National Chemical Laboratory found several almonds and pistachios samples contained aflatoxin in excess of EU limits EU Commission Regulation N. 165/2010), withdrew the products from the market, and fined the importers and retailers. Greece exports small amounts of almonds. Bulgaria, Germany, and Italy continue to be the main destination for Greek almonds. Greek almond exports are destined for both the snack and confectionary industry. Pistachios Table 2: Production, Supply and Demand (MT) 2009 2010 2011 Pis Estimates Estimates Forecast tachios, In-shell Ba 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012 sis Post Data Post Data Post Data Area Planted 5,122 4900 4900 Area Harvested 5,122 4900 4900 Beginning Stocks 560 460 405 Production 2,500 3,000 3,150 Imports 2,671 1,200 1,235 Total Supply 5,731 4,660 4,790 Exports 1,201 764 800 Domestic Consumption 4,070 3,491 3,600 Ending Stocks 460 405 390 Total Distribution 5,731 4,660 4,790 Source: Unofficial estimates based on Greek industry contacts; GTA PRODUCTION According to industry estimates, MY 2011/12 Greek pistachio production is forecast to remain steady. Greek pistachios are produced mainly in the Island of Egina and in the area of Lamia, located in central Greece. Due to its exceptional flavor, shapely form, and full kernel, the Aegina pistachio has been awarded by the European Commission as a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), distinguishing it from all other pistachio varieties worldwide. CONSUMPTION MY 2011/12 Greek pistachio demand is forecast to remain stable. Greeks mainly consume pistachios fresh as a snack food and, to a lesser extent, as an ingredient for confectionary products, such as ice cream and chocolate. Imported pistachios comprise a significant portion of Greek consumption. TRADE Greek pistachio imports come mainly from the United States (78 percent), Germany, and France. Imported pistachios are destined for the confectionary and ice cream sectors. Greece is an emerging exporter. France, Cyprus, and Bulgaria represent the main destination for Greek pistachios. CYPRUS Almonds Table 3: Production, Supply and, Demand (MT) 2009 2010 2011 Estimates Estimates Forecast Almonds, Shelled Basis 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012 Post Data Post Data Post Data Area Planted 3,550 4,157 4,157 Area Harvested 3,550 4,157 4,157 Production 68 550 550 Imports 904 888 870 Total Supply 972 1,438 1,420 Exports 0 0 0 Domestic Consumption 972 1,438 1,420 Total Distribution 972 1,438 1,420 Source: Unofficial estimates based on industry contacts; GTA According to unofficial estimates, there are approximately 4,157 hectares of almonds in Cyprus, including all types of systematically cultivated orchards and a large number of scattered trees. The main producing areas are the villages of Limnatis and Moniatis, located in southern Cyprus. MY 2011/12 Cypriot almond production and consumption are forecast to remain flat at MY 2010/11 levels. Cypriot almond demand is mostly satisfied by imports from the United States and Iran. Pistachios Table 4: Production, Supply and, Demand (MT) 2009 2010 2011 Pistachios, Inshell Estimates Estimates Forecast Basis 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012 Post Data Post Data Post Data Area Planted 110 115 115 Area Harvested 110 115 115 Production 25 40 45 Imports 382 398 387 Total Supply 407 438 432 Exports 40 20 25 Domestic Consumption 367 418 407 Total Distribution 407 438 432 Source: Unofficial estimates based on industry contacts; GTA MY 2011/2012 Cypriot pistachio production is small and forecast to remain stable. The main producing area is Korfi, a village located in southern Cyprus. Like with almonds, pistachio demand is satisfied mainly by imports from the United States and Iran. Pistachio imports are not only for domestic consumption, but also for the processing and re-export market, mainly China. Abbreviations and Definitions Used in this Report Conversion factors used to convert shelled to in-shell tree nuts: Almonds: 3.3 Pistachios: 1.5 HS Codes: Almonds: Shelled 080212; In-shell 080211 Pistachios: 080250 Ha hectare; 1 ha = 2.471 acres MT Metric ton = 1,000 kg MS EU member state(s) MY Marketing Year Almonds and Pistachios: September/August
Posted: 14 September 2011, last updated 15 September 2011

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