Greece. Tree Nuts Annual. Oct 2013 Nov. 15, 2013
Greece is the third largest producer of almonds in the EU-28, after Spain and Italy. Per capita consumption of tree nuts in Greece at 17 kilos/year is the highest in the EU and one of the highest in the world. Greece’s MY 2013/14 almond production is forecast at 5,000 MT. The United States is the main almond supplier to the Greek market, accounting for 60 percent of total imports.
Greece is the third largest producer of almonds in the EU-28, after Spain and Italy. Almond cultivation in Greece has a long tradition and history. The main almond producing areas include five prefectures (Katerini, Serres, Kavala, Magnisia, and Larissa) of Central Macedonia and Thessaly, located in northern Greece. The quality of Greek almonds is considered excellent and the most popular varieties are Ferragnes, Texas, Troito, and Retsou. The Ferragnes variety is growing in popularity and replacing many traditional ones.
According to industry estimates, there are approximately 40,000 hectares currently cultivated for almonds, including all types of systematically cultivated orchards and a large number of scattered trees, which yield about 1,200 MT annually that is mostly for own consumption. Greece’s MY 2013/14 almond production is forecast at 5,000 MT.
Per capita consumption of tree nuts in Greece at 17 kilos/year is the highest in the EU and one of the highest in the world. Almonds represent an important component of the Greek diet. Greeks consume almonds mainly as a snack food, and, to a lesser extent, as an ingredient for confectionary products, such as ice cream and chocolate.
Greece is a net importer of almonds. The United States is the main almond supplier to the Greek market, accounting for 60 percent of total imports. In addition, Spain is an important supplier to the Greek market, accounting for 30.7 percent of total imports. Imported almonds are destined mainly for the confectionary, ice cream, and chocolate industries, both for the domestic and re-export markets, mainly Bulgaria and Italy.
Greece exports small amounts of almonds that are destined for both the snack and confectionary industry. Bulgaria and Italy continue to be the main destinations for Greek almonds.
According to industry estimates, MY 2013/14 Greek pistachio production is forecast at 2,500 MT. Pistachio trees production is cyclical, bearing heavily in alternate years. MY 2013/14 will be a “lower” bearing year. Greek pistachios are produced mainly in the Island of Egina and in the area of Lamia, located in Central Greece. New producing areas include the Makrakomi area of Central Greece and the municipality of Oropos, in East Attica. Due to its exceptional flavor, shapely form, and full kernel, the Aegina pistachio has been awarded by the European Commission as a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), distinguishing it from all other pistachio varieties worldwide.
Greeks mainly consume pistachios fresh, as a snack food, and, to a lesser extent, as an ingredient for confectionary products, such as ice cream and chocolate. Imported pistachios comprise a significant portion of Greek consumption.
Greece is an emerging pistachio exporter. France represents the main destination for Greek pistachios. Greece’s pistachio imports come mainly from the United States and France. Imported pistachios are destined for the confectionary and ice cream sectors.
Abbreviations and Definitions Used in this Report
MY Marketing Year
Almonds and Pistachios: September/August
Almonds: Shelled 080212; In-shell 080211
Conversion factors used to convert shelled to in-shell tree nuts:
Ha hectare; 1 ha = 2.471 acres
MT Metric ton = 1,000 kg
MS EU member state(s)