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Almond (European Union): production, consumption, import / export – USDA annual report


The European Union is one of the world’s leading producers and consumers of almonds.  Furthermore, the EU is the single largest export market for California almonds, with Spain being the leading single- country market.  Annually, California production is exported to more than 100 countries worldwide, and the EU-28 represents approximately one third of California’s almond exports.


Spanish production has historically fluctuated greatly.  Currently, the high prices paid for almonds are increasing the number of hectares of almonds planted annually as an alternative to the low prices in field crops.   New varieties, modernization of the irrigation techniques, and the good prices reached in recent seasons are making Almonds more profitable for investors and improving the expectations of the industry.

For MY 2017, the latest official forecast published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (MAPAMA) estimates a production of 71,622 MT (shelled basis), a 20 percent increase compared to previous year’s crop.  This is a preliminary figure. According to the MAPAMA initial estimates, most of the main producing regions will increase their production compared to previous marketing year.  Only Castilla-La Mancha, affected by severe drought, will see a 25 percent decrease in production.


Italy is the second largest EU-28 almond producer after Spain.  Sicily and Puglia are the main almond- producing areas, accounting together for approximately 88 percent of total supply.  Tuono, Pizzuta d’Avola, Fascionello, Filippo Ceo, Fragiulio Grande, Genco, Falsa Barese, Ferragnés are the leading varieties grown in the country.  Italy’s MY (marketing year) 2017/18 almond production is forecast to drop by approximately 40 percent compared to the previous year due to the summer draught that affected the Italian peninsula.  Quality is expected to be good.

Table 1. Major EU Almond Producers by Volume in MT (Shelled Basis)

COUNTRY MY 2015/16 MY 2016/17 MY 2017/18
Spain 63,964 59,661 71,622
Italy 20,000 20,000 12,000

Source: FAS Europe Offices


Almonds represent an important component of the Mediterranean diet.  In-shell almonds are mainly sold for fresh consumption.  Shelled almonds are milled and generally used as a raw material for confectionary and bakery food companies.

Tree nuts imports are indispensable for EU consumers.  Traditionally, consumers prefer locally grown products mainly for loyalty and habits, but since local production is not enough to satisfy the enormous demand, the industry depends on imports.  Also, pricing plays a key role as domestic production leads to higher prices, pushing consumers to look for lower prices and therefore to imported varieties.



In MY 2015, the United States was once more the main source of almonds for European importers. U.S. almonds face competition from locally grown almonds, particularly from Spain.  The EU is consistently increasing their imports from Australia as production increases, but their export numbers to Europe are still very far from being a real competition.  U.S. almonds will likely continue to enter the EU market with highly competitive prices.

The major EU-28 importers of U.S. almonds by volume were Spain, Germany and Italy in this order. Many countries import large quantities of almonds destined both for domestic consumption and re- export markets, as well as for the food and snack industry.


Table 2. EU-28 Imports of Almonds by Origin in MT (Shelled Basis)

Country of origin MY 2013/14 MY 2014/15 MY 2015/16
United States 221,177 206,844 213,872
Australia 19,951 19,107 20,794
Morocco 1,544 2,009 1,511
Chile 465 449 1,154
Argentina 33 675
Syria 83 159 648
Others 2,804 1,706 1,178
TOTAL IMPORTS 246,057 230,274 239,832

Source: GTA



The top destinations for EU-28 almonds in MY 2015 were the United States, Switzerland and Melilla.

The largest almond exporter is Spain and Spanish exports are destined mainly for other EU MS.

Table 3. EU-28 Exports of Almonds by Destination in MT (Shelled Basis)

Country of origin MY 2013/14 MY 2014/15 MY 2015/16
United States 3,476 6,178 5,342
Switzerland 1,704 1,854 1,789
Melilla 26 161 1,481
Ceuta 408 382 1,050
Canada 336 598 690
Australia 158 156 319
Others 4,676 3,941 4,121
TOTAL EXPORTS 10,784 13,270 14,792

Source: GTA





Almonds , Shelled Bas is EU-28

2015 2016 2017
2015/2016 2016/2017 2017/2018
Market Year Begin: Aug 2015 Market Year Begin: Aug 2016 Market Year Begin: Aug 2017
USDA Official  

New Pos t

USDA Official  

New Pos t

USDA Official  

New Pos t

Area Planted 0 650,470 0 685,160 0 685,160 (HA)
Area Harves ted 0 570,989 0 570,609 0 570,609 (HA)
Bearing Trees 0 0 0 0 0 0 (1000 TREES)
Non-Bearing Trees 0 0 0 0 0 0 (1000 TREES)
Total Trees 0 0 0 0 0 0 (1000 TREES)
Beginning Stocks 20,000 20,000 18,000 18,000 0 18,000 (MT)
Production 96,000 94,929 95,000 90,696 0 103,242 (MT) (MT) (MT) (MT)



Imports 264,500 239,832 265,000 250,000 0 255,000
Total Supply 380,500 354,761 378,000 358,696 0 376,242
Exports 14,800 14,792 14,000 15,000 0 15,000
Domes tic

Cons umption













Ending Stocks 18,000 18,000 18,000 18,000 0 18,000 (MT)
Total Dis tribution 380,500 354,761 378,000 358,696 0 376,242 (MT)

Source: FAS Europe Offices