This unit offers a general outline of tree nut, peanut and dried fruit production volumes, supply value, trade volumes, consumption worldwide and the main countries involved therein.

Firstly, some general considerations about the statistical variables used in this unit and their interpretation scope are detailed.

The first section focuses on world production volumes, major producing countries and trends over the last five years, followed by a section on trade for each nut and dried fruit.

This will provide the student with a breakdown of import and export volumes and leading players. Finally, the last section provides an analysis of world consumption by product and world region.

This unit summarizes which are the most produced, traded and consumed nuts and dried fruits worldwide, as well as their volume ranges. Students will also be able to recognize the main producing countries, exporters, importers and consumers both globally and by product.

By the end of this unit students will be able to identify: 

  • The main nuts and dried fruits produced worldwide, their volume ranges and value.
  • The most traded nuts and dried fruits and their volume ranges.
  • General consumption trends for each product and by region.
  • Leading producing, trading and consuming countries.

General considerations

Tree nuts. Source: INC.

Nuts and dried fruits are very valuable commodities which are appreciated worldwide. Therefore, having a general overview and understanding of their production, trade and consumption constitutes a very useful analysis tool. 

The tree nuts analyzed in this unit are almonds, Amazonia (Brazil) nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts.

Peanuts, are an extensive crop and a legume, from a botanical standpoint, and therefore considered separately.

Dried fruits covered in this unit are dates, dried apricots, dried cranberries (sweetened), dried figs, dried grapes (raisins, Sultanas and currants) and prunes.

Dried fruits. Source: INC.

Statistics, when analyzed over several seasons, provide a notion of production, trade and consumption trends. However, it is very important to always take into account that statistics are only estimations and that several unpredictable variables are involved in their calculation, especially when looking at one season in isolation.

Being an agricultural commodity, actual nut and dried fruit crop/production can vary greatly from the initial forecasts as the growing season arrives. Final output is dependent on annual weather, soil conditions, pests, diseases and weed incidence, all of which can affect each season’s figure differently and have a consequent impact on the market.

Thus, it is critical to read statistics as a whole and to contextualize the predictions based on the trends seen in previous years. Statistical information is intended to be used as a guide rather than an absolute truth (Figure 1).

For comparison purposes, it is important to consider whether tree nut and peanut production (crop) volumes are given in in-shell or kernel basis. In this unit, all the tree nut production values are given in kernel basis, except for pistachios, which are given in in-shell basis.

Peanut production will also be given in in-shell basis.

Similarly, for trade analysis, it must be taken into account whether figures are referring to in-shell or shelled nuts. In order to accurately represent the major trade flows among the leading trading countries all the tree nut export and import estimates are expressed in kernel equivalent (i.e. shelled + in-shell converted to kernel basis), except for pistachios, which are given in in-shell equivalent (in-shell + shelled converted to in-shell basis).