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World trade market and potential for walnut tree development in Vietnam

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Walnuts are widely cultivated across the globe, and the production of this versatile nut plays a significant role in the agricultural industry. Any significant increase in output will likely affect the supply and demand balance of the walnut market and affect the current and potential small producing countries, including Vietnam.


World trade market and potential for walnut tree development in Vietnam

The Situation of Walnut Production in the World.


The leading countries in global walnut production include China, the United States, Iran, Turkey, and Mexico. These nations have favorable climates and suitable growing conditions that support robust walnut cultivation. However, other countries such as Chile, Ukraine, France, and Romania also contribute to the global walnut supply.


The Situation of Walnut Production in the World.

China: The Largest Walnut Producer.

China dominates the global walnut market as the largest producer. The country's vast agricultural landscape and favorable growing regions, particularly in provinces such as Shaanxi, Xinjiang, and Hebei, facilitate large-scale walnut cultivation. Chinese walnuts are renowned for their quality and are widely exported to meet the global demand.

China is the country that plays an important role in the increase in the global walnut area harvested. Between 2005 and 2010, China's harvested area increased by 114,000 hectares, accounting for 68% of the global increase



United States: On the track Walnut Producer with China

The United States holds a prominent position in walnut production, particularly in the state of California. California walnuts are highly regarded for their quality, taste, and size. The favorable climate and advanced agricultural practices in the region contribute to the success of walnut cultivation. The U.S. exports a significant portion of its walnut production to meet both domestic and international demands.


Emerging Walnut Producers

In addition to the traditional walnut-producing countries, there are emerging players in the market. Mexico, for instance, has seen significant growth in walnut production. The country benefits from its favorable climate and land availability for cultivation. Mexican walnuts are gaining recognition for their quality and taste, contributing to the diversification of the global walnut supply.


Global Trade in Walnuts.


Major Exporting Countries: The United States is already the largest walnut exporter accounting for nearly 50% of global exports. Next is the group of countries with walnut exports accounting for 5-9% of global exports are: Mexico, Ukraine, Chile, France and Hong Kong. Although Hong Kong is not a walnut producing country, the data shows that Hong Kong has exported a significant volume.


Consumers' awareness and interest of people with the positive health benefits of walnuts are believed to be the main driver of the increased demand. Vietnam is the largest walnut importer from Hong Kong. important figure 26,592 tons exported from Hong Kong in 2011, 75% (19,524 tons) was exported to Vietnam (Analysis from Comtrade data).


Global Trade in Walnuts.

Supply and demand for walnut products in Vietnam.


The demand for walnut products in Vietnam has been steadily increasing in recent years. Vietnamese consumers have become more health-conscious and are actively seeking nutritious food options. Walnuts, with their rich nutritional profile, are perceived as a healthy snack and ingredient for various dishes. In Vietnam, walnuts are distributed through a network of traditional medicine stores, mainly in two big cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.


Walnut products are widely used in Vietnamese cuisine, particularly in baking, confectionery, and traditional dishes. The distinct flavor and texture of walnuts add a unique twist to cakes, pastries, cookies, and desserts. Additionally, walnuts are commonly included in salads, stir-fries, and vegetarian dishes, providing a crunchy texture and nutty taste.


Market Trends and Future Outlook.


Walnut tree is a temperate tree, growing at altitudes above 1000m and even higher (Tshering G., FAO). In Vietnam, the area has not many suitable growing conditions for walnut trees. Therefore, planting walnut trees in mountainous areas can be seen as one of the options to diversify income and to meet local needs.


Furthermore, there is an opportunity for local farmers and entrepreneurs to explore walnut cultivation in suitable regions of Vietnam. With proper research and investment, domestic walnut production could potentially supplement the import market, reducing reliance on foreign sources and enhancing the country's self-sufficiency.


To meet consumer preferences and stay competitive, walnut product suppliers in Vietnam should also focus on sustainable and organic options. Vietnamese consumers are increasingly mindful of the environmental impact and the use of chemicals in food production. Offering certified organic walnut products can attract environmentally conscious consumers and align with the global trend of sustainable sourcing.


Besides, to cater to this growing demand, it is essential for importers and distributors to maintain a diverse range of high-quality walnut products. This includes ensuring the availability of various forms of walnuts, such as kernels, whole nuts, and processed products like walnut oil and flour.


Market Trends and Future Outlook.

The supply and demand for walnut products in Vietnam are primarily driven by imports from major walnut-producing countries. The rising demand for healthy and nutritious food options, coupled with the unique flavor and versatility of walnuts, has fueled the growth of this market. By ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality walnut products and exploring opportunities for domestic cultivation, the walnut industry in Vietnam has significant potential for expansion.



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