After the very low prices in 2017 for Siberica pinenut kernels due to a very large crop, we have seen big increases in 2018 for both Pineus Koreansis and Siberica varieties.
During the CCCFNA’s Nuts conference which was held in Zhuhai in August, 2018, the pinenut working group estimated the total yield (in shell) of Pinenut Koraiensis in China around 40,000-50,000mt, Russia 20.000 to 30.000 mt and N. Korea 10.000mt In total, the yield in shell was expected to be 70.000mt to 90.000mt. However, in the later phase, due to drought, the pine cones didn’t grown as large as expected and to make things even worse, the main production area was struck by a serious insect and pest attack, as a consequence pine cones fell off the trees before they matured. Due to these circumstances the real yield of China origin Koreansis is 25.000-30.000mt, 30 to 40% less than estimated.
Unfortunately, Russia and Korea’s yields of Koreansis are not good either. It is estimated that the actual yield in Russia and Korea would be 7.000 to 8.000mt and 4.000 to 5.000mt respectively. So in total the Koreansis crop is not more than 36,000 to 43,000mt (Expected size was 70.000 to 90.000 m/ton). Due to these events, price forecasts were totally inaccurate and prices for the pinus Koraiensis increased sharply especially in the past few months.
The shortage of raw material and poor yields were not the only contributory factors to high prices for pinenuts as the two producing areas for the Siberica pinenuts, Russia and Mongolia, also had their issues. Russia had almost no harvest, while the Mongolian crop was only a little better.
More bad news came from the Mongolian government’s new policy issued at the end of August 2018 banning the harvesting and export of pinenuts for the next three years so as to protect the eco-environment of the pinenuts forests.
Furthermore the outlook for the 2019 crop is not looking good either. In general it is expected that the yield of the 2019 Pinus Koreansis crop will be similar to the 2018 crop (36.000 to 43.000 m/ton).
This combined with the fact that in the coming three years no Siberica crop is expected from Mongolia ( because of the ban on the harvest and export from the government ) as well as predictions that the 2019 Russian crop is not expected to be big (although no firm estimates are available) makes the outlook on prices for 2019 very firm.
Summarizing the above we can conclude that we do not expect the prices of pinenuts to go down and advise you to take cover forward as we believe that this market will make another upward price movement in the months to come.