Overview of the Russian hazelnut market
In 2016 - 2018 in Russia, the gross harvest of hazelnuts (in shell) decreased by 18.20%: from 6.49 to 5.31 thousand tons. The reason was unfavorable weather conditions. Since 2019
years, the gross harvest of hazelnuts increased. In 2020, 6.75 thousand tons of hazelnuts were harvested in Russia. Compared to the level of 2018, the harvest increased by 27.10%.
It should be noted that hazelnut imports in Russia are many times higher than domestic production. The country does not cover its own needs for nuts. Investors
are cautious about such projects, since the laying of walnut plantations requires significant capital investments, and the period of entry into
industrial fruiting is 5 - 7 years after planting seedlings. The harvest is dependent on weather conditions.
For 2016 - 2020 In Russia, imports of hazelnuts (in terms of peeled nuts) increased 1.90 times: from 7.98 to 14.90 thousand tons. Imports did not decrease even under conditions
pandemics. As a result of the crisis of 2020-2021, the incomes of Russians have once again decreased. This narrowed the opportunities for the sale of expensive goods, to
which includes hazelnuts. However, the demand from confectionery enterprises made it possible to maintain imports and even avoid their reduction. Hazelnut is considered
one of the best fillings for cakes and chocolate. The use of nuts in the production of confectionery allows you to expand the range of products
products and maintain demand for it in a highly competitive environment.
However, with the beginning of the fruiting stage of individual projects in Russia in 2021, imports decreased due to import substitution to 13.15 thousand tons per
in terms of the kernel, while domestic consumption practically did not decrease and amounted to 16.25 thousand tons in terms of the peeled nut.
Growing hazelnuts in Russia has been actively developing in recent years. However, this is still not enough to meet the needs of the domestic market. AT
In 2021, the volume of supplies of this variety of nuts from abroad exceeded domestic production by more than 5 times. However, according to experts,
due to the crisis in the economy and comprehensive sanctions, the price of Russian production will definitely be lower than the price of imports. And analysts agree
in the opinion that the market for hazelnuts in the coming years will grow by an average of 7.00% per year.
Hazelnut production is a long-term business. Full payback period for garden investments, according to industry data
experts - this is 8 - 10 years. An important advantage of investing in the creation of hazelnut orchards is the long period of industrial operation of the created plantations:
for industrial varieties of nuts it is over 50 years old, there are orchards in Italy that are over 100 years old and continue to be profitable.
The state needs to promote walnut growing and increase support for this sector. The profitability of hazelnut production is high. The fact that
returns from the walnut project will have to wait at least five or six years, stopping many investors. But, in fact, you need to invest only once, then the garden
will serve you for a hundred years and will bring a very good income.
According to analysts, walnut projects usually include a return on equity of at least 20.00 - 25.00%%. If an investor can achieve this
indicator, then after reaching the planned yield, the payback period of the project will be about 5 - 6 years. Given the volume of hazelnut imports to Russia, projects
cultivation of hazelnuts in the south of Russia is investment attractive, especially if it is possible to create large-scale production on intensive or super
intensive technologies, which have been developing more and more actively in recent years.
Garden care costs are "not that big" as hazelnuts are a hardy plant. In Italy, they say that hazelnuts are a plant for the lazy. So it is, care
behind the garden does not require much effort:
- spraying as needed
- weed control
- monitoring the condition of the soil and leaves,
much attention needs to be paid to pest control, the weevil is especially dangerous for hazelnuts. But the main thing is to save the tree in the first years, when it is gaining
weight and adapts to external factors that can negatively affect its development, and in the future an adapted, healthy and strong plant
less sensitive to external influences and pests.
The nut industry in Russia has good development prospects. But the realization of these prospects requires the solution of the following questions:
- providing the sector with long-term loans,
- the presence of state and regional industry programs to support the industry, which are practically absent today,
- development and availability of domestic specialized equipment,
- sufficient volumes of cultivation of garden material - its absence today significantly slows down the development of this direction.
Importing nuts with the imposition of sanctions in 2014 and even more so in 2022 and the increase in the volatility of the ruble becomes unprofitable, so now in the country
began to show interest in the walnut business. Recently, projects have been actively implemented to establish hazelnut orchards in Dagestan, Chechnya,
Krasnodar Territory. The demand for the organization of production for the cultivation of hazelnuts is quite high, but it is not so easy to organize it. The main issue is the lack
planting material of modern selection for industrial volumes of gardens. The seedlings had to be purchased abroad - in Italy, Turkey and other countries
historically specializing in the cultivation of hazelnuts.
One of the pioneers in the development of its own production for the cultivation of highly productive seedlings was a joint Russian-Italian venture
"Eleti Alba", which founded its own walnut nursery and plans to develop this area in the amount of up to 1.00 million seedlings annually.
The company plans to propagate highly productive varieties, develop new ones, zoned for the local climate, both for its own needs and for
sales to other agricultural producers.
In connection with the geopolitical changes taking place today - the destruction of the food and logistics world markets, the introduction of all kinds of
sanctions and restrictions on the movement of finances and materials: the topic of import substitution for walnuts looks very promising.
Investors have not yet "tasted" the walnut segment, now they are actively investing in fruit trees, primarily apples, there is interest in stone fruits,
berries. To encourage investors to invest in nuts, it is necessary to increase state support for this segment, many experts believe. Russia could
plant industrial orchards of both hazelnuts and walnuts. But the question is: what will be the subsidies? Payouts for planting bushes are about 0.54
million rubles/ha, and the investor needs to purchase imported seedlings - at least 1.00 thousand pieces. per hectare, each costs €7.00 on average, which is 0.63-0.75 million rubles/ha, not counting
associated costs for laying and maintaining a hazelnut garden for 5-8 years, during which it will prepare for fruiting and during
which the investor will bear only the costs. For example, in the Tambov region, subsidies for planting apple orchards amount to 1.00 million rubles/ha, in the Voronezh region
- 0.60 million rubles / ha, of course, with such figures, investors will go more actively into the apple growing sector.
Nuts are probably one of the most sought-after and cost-effective products in the world. In the regions of the South of Russia, a wild-growing walnut is actively distributed, it
spontaneously grows everywhere throughout the territory, which means that the industrial production of high-quality hazelnuts is not only possible - it simply has to be.
Now the harvest of hazelnuts in Russia is mainly given by wild plantings. But it is inconvenient to collect walnuts there, there are many pests, and it is impossible to organize plant protection.
Hazelnut production is a quiet business: no refrigeration, no constant spraying, as is the case with berry, stone fruit and orchards.
Less chemicals, less maintenance, for small areas one tractor, a sorting table and a small warehouse are enough, that's all the equipment - in
As a result, the costs are minimal compared to fruit crops, while the profitability is higher, and after processing it is generally incomparable. Nut bookmark
orchards are technically simpler than apple orchards, plus hazelnut storage does not require expensive cold stores. Nut growing (as well as gardening, and
viticulture) is an interesting, promising and profitable business, albeit with its own specific features.
Almost any land is suitable for a hazelnut garden: rocky, with a high content of clay, hazelnuts can be grown even on slopes up to 45
degrees, while each site requires an individual approach in preparation, for hazelnuts it will be possible to use those lands that are for other fruit
crops are not suitable and have not yet been used. The development of walnut growing can also positively affect the solution of a social problem: the outflow of the population from the villages.
One of the difficulties of walnut production is the problem with personnel, until the orchard has reached its maximum yield, automated harvesting
hazelnuts doesn't make much sense. For example, one of today's largest producers, Orekhprom Agro, attracts about 100 people to harvest -
it is quite difficult to find such a number of employees for 1 (One) month of work (!), while there are only 12 permanent employees in the company (!). Wherein
automated harvesting today can only be carried out with foreign-made machines, since there are no specialized machines and
hazelnut harvesting equipment is not produced in Russia.
Today, almost all major hazelnut producers in Russia have installed hazelnut shelling shops with a capacity of 4.00 - 5.00 tons / hour with drying.
The shell is also a valuable waste product:
- Firstly, in crushed form, it can be used to reduce the density of garden soil.
- Secondly, for various decorative purposes.
- Thirdly, burn as fuel. In Italy (the country is one of the world leaders in the consumption and production of hazelnuts), briquettes are made from it and drowned with them
homes, schools, and even shell-fired power plants. In the future, when the volume of walnut harvest, and hence the shell, in companies will grow, many
Russian hazelnut producers plan to use it as fuel for their drying plants.
Also, today the market of hazelnut processing products and hazelnut-based products for a healthy diet is actively developing in Russia. This is first of all
products such as:
- hazelnut oil for cooking and making sauces or homemade sweets.
- hazelnut oil for medicine and cosmetology, which is used in the treatment of burns, as an effective cosmetic product to improve
condition of hair and skin.
- a paste of ground hazelnuts with honey.
- various hazelnut fillings for classic sweets,
- various fillings from hazelnuts for "healthy" sweets.
- Various hazelnut protein spreads for vegetarians.
- various organic hazelnut chocolate spreads.
The share of foreign products today in the total volume of nuts consumed (excluding wild plants) in Russia is 75.00 - 95.00%%. At the same time, import
walnut crops after the fall in 2014 - 2015 due to the embargo is growing. Thus, according to the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation, imports of hazelnut kernels in 2021 amounted to
13.15 thousand tons (79.20 million USD), which is more than 1.50 times more than in 2017.
The main suppliers of hazelnut (hazelnut) kernels to Russia in 2021 were:
- Azerbaijan (65.64%),
- Turkey (26.22%),
- Georgia (8.67%).
They are also the largest players in the hazelnut export market at the global level. According to many experts, cost-effective
hazelnut projects can replace up to 50.00% of imports on the horizon of a decade. Meanwhile, world nut production is showing high growth rates. So,
according to INC, over the past 7 years, the global hazelnut harvest has increased by more than a third to 512.90 thousand tons, in value terms the growth is even more
perceptible. For 10 years, the production of hazelnuts in the world has increased 1.50 times, almonds - 2.70 times, walnuts - 2.60 times, pistachios - three times.
The increase in the gross harvest of nuts is a consequence of the global trend towards an increase in the consumption of healthy foods, according to INC experts. In the nearest
this trend will continue in the future.