Almond prices have remained firm on the back of a large shipment figure for September 07, according to Mark Setterfield, RM Curtis’ MD, in the company’s Edible Nuts & Dried Fruit Market Report: Sep-Oct 2007.

Total domestic and export shipments were up 10.5% from 2006, he noted. "Almonds continue to show comparatively good value against the other tree nuts and, in light of the weak US dollar, almonds look even better value in sterling, euros and so on. It is hard to see prices weakening to any major extent."

On hazelnuts, the latest figures from Turkey say that 70,000m tonnes has been bought already, less than the announced planned total of 150,000m tonnes by the end of October. "Despite this, there is tight availability and, together with the continued strong Lira, has pushed prices higher still over the past month."

As the 2008 walnut season opens, Setterfield added, there are some concerns coming to light, which might result in firming prices into 2008: the Californian crop is down on last year; Eastern Europe (predominantly Moldova and Bulgaria) are short this year; and India appears to be down on last year’s bumper crop, along with France. "We would advise walnut buyers to look to secure offers on at least 50% of their 2008 requirements," Setterfield added.

"Increasingly, we are seeing growing demand for cashews. While innovation is key to developments within snacking and manufacturing and while cashews appear to be retaining and growing in application, the potential for price increases presently outweighs potential decreases."