Hazelnut, also known as cobnut or filbert nut, is obtained from hazel and is rich in essential nutrients such as vitamin E, manganese, protein, and monounsaturated fats. The nuts are used to make praline, chocolate truffles, Nutella, and hazelnut oil used as a cooking oil. Hazelnut production has increased by 16% over the last ten years with a global production of 490,000 metric tons recorded in 2017/2018. Turkey is the leading producer of hazelnuts, accounting for 73% of the total production, followed by Italy at 9% and Azerbaijan at 5%. In 2016, 424,139 metric tons of the nuts were consumed, translating to a consumption per capita of 0.06 kg down from a consumption of 436,015 metric tons in 2015.
Top 4 Consumers of Hazelnuts
Italy is the second-most producer and the top consumer of hazelnuts in the world. The country consumed approximately 78,000 metric tons of the nuts in 2016, translating to 1.31 kg per capita. The 2016 consumption was the lowest in four years, having consumed over 89,000 metric tons in 2015. In Italy, hazelnuts are sold both in-shell and shelled, with in-shell nuts sold in form of snacks while shelled nuts sold mainly to confectionaries and bakeries. An estimated 90% of the hazelnuts produced in the country goes to processing companies while the remaining 10% is for fresh consumption.
Turkey is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts and the second-largest consumer. A total of 60,000 metric tons of the nuts was consumed in the country in 2016 up from 40,000 metric tons the previous year. Although hazelnut production has been on the rise in the last 15 years, consumption has been on the decline, especially between 2012 and 2015 during which the consumption declined from 84,000 metric tons to 40,000 metric tons. Turkey exports over 30% of the total hazelnuts it produces which translates to 59% of the total world’s export. The other 70% is consumed locally.
Germany is the third-largest consumer of hazelnuts with a consumption of approximately 55,500 metric tons in 2016 down from 58,600 metric tons the previous year. Germany is not a major producer of the nuts but the highest importer and processor. Hazelnut production in the country is insignificant that it has to rely on imports to meet the growing demands. The consumption has been characterized by frequent fluctuations which are attributed to fluctuations in international production and price factors.
France is the fourth-largest consumer of hazelnuts after Italy, Turkey, and Germany. The country consumed approximately 25,000 metric tons of the nuts down from 27,000 in 2016. The consumption trend has not been consistent over the last 5 years. The lowest consumption in five years was recorded in 2016 while the highest consumption was recorded in 2012 at 27,880 metric tons. France relies on imports to meet the high demands for the nuts and is currently the third-largest importer of hazelnuts after Germany and Italy.
Turkish Production and Export Trends
Turkey is the leading hazelnut producer in the world accounting for approximately 73% of the global production. In 2017/2018, the nut production in the country increased by 44% from the previous season’s production. Turkey also controls the hazelnut export market. It accounted for approximately 59% of the export in 2016 and an average of 67% over the past 5 years. The country exports most of its hazelnuts to the European market and the US.