Wednesday, October 6, 2010

U.S. Hazelnut Forecast (2010) Looks Bleak

The 2010 hazelnut harvest forecast is for 27,000 tons, a 43% decline from last year's harvest of 47,000 tons. It would also be the lowest harvest level since the 19,500 tons in 2002. This season's crop has a high-defective nut count, resulting in a lower yield. The good-nut percentage was 78%, a 20-year low. This is an off-year for US hazelnuts.

Hong Kong was the largest importer of US inshell hazelnuts from July 2009 to June 2010, buying 39 million pounds, or 54% of the 72 million pounds US hazelnut exports. Vietnam followed at 12 million pounds. Canada was the largest importer or US shelled hazelnuts with 926,000 pounds, followed by Vietnam with 549,000 pounds and then Germany, with 394,000 pounds.

Domestic hazelnut production is largely limited to Oregon, but other parts of the country are actively investigating cultivars for their regions that are both frost tolerant and disease resistant, for food products and biofuels.

For more information, see Hazelnut Breeding and Reseasch at Rutgers University.