As previously anticipated, in season 2021/2022, production in Bolivia ended up being smaller than the average crop, in Peru, it was stable, with a slight increase in terms of exports, and Brazilian crop/export increased. For the 2022/2023 season, increased overall production for Brazil nuts is expected. The Bolivian crop is forecasted 26% up from the previous season, the Peruvian crop is expected to increase around 10% while the Brazilian crop is anticipated to be 20% below last year.
The 2021/22 marketing year (March to February) was on the lower side of exports. Bolivia’s shipments were lower than in previous years, while Peruvian and Brazilian exports increased. Year-to-date exports through January and February 2022 accounted mainly for the very small carryover of the 2021/22 crop, which went from a small to a very high price at the end of the season.
As discussed during the latest INC Congress, held last May in Dubai, from a supply standpoint, from the processing forward, the overall Brazil nut industry is up-to-date in terms of technology, mechanical cracking and certifications to meet the world market quality demands.
The Bolivian currency is particularly strong as it is fixed against the dollar, which relatively weakens Bolivia’s position towards exports. However, and similar to Peru, the country has been through a period of improvements in factories, leading to an overall better quality. In Peru, the production infrastructure has improved a lot over the last 10 years, allowing this origin to capture more of the international market, to which the currency devaluation has also helped. In contrast, a shift was clearly seen in the Brazilian origin, which went from selling 100% to the international market into selling most of the production to the domestic market, which started to use Brazil nuts as an ingredient in many different products. Currently, lots of Brazilian eat at least three Brazil nuts per day since their health benefits are well spread. International shipments from Brazil are always done when the exchange rates are favorable; which was what happened last year and that is why Brazil exported more than the previous years.
The raw material collection in the jungle remains the main challenge, which all the origins face. So, due to the collection system, in terms of the purchasing of raw materials, pricing can move drastically. Adding to that, currency exchange rates have a dramatic effect on when the product enters the market and sales are higher, being another reason for price volatility. Last season started with a very low price, around two dollars per kilogram, and ended up significantly higher, at around $6.50/kg. Because there was a shortage in production, raw material prices increased, hence collectors were paid more, and that increment translated into higher sale prices. In turn, since demand continued to rise, factories kept buying and paying higher prices in order to increase their volumes. However, owing to the significant carryover from the prior season, last year’s sales into the market were, on average, comparable to a relatively normal year; even with the big price fluctuation. On the demand side, this volatility also presents difficulties. In Europe, one of the biggest markets, when the price went from $2/kg to $6.5/kg, buyers were facing challenges in the supply chain, especially for securing product availability and it impacted retail pricing and therefore consumer demand.

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