Chile has been going through a drought in the walnut production zone for quite some time. The 2020 harvest (March/April) was strongly affected by the lack of rain in the winter of 2019 and its subsequent low accumulation of snow.
Estimates show that the harvest, which had been projected to yield 150,000 MT, came in 10% lower than forecasted, at around 135,000 MT.
2020 winter rainfall was better than the previous year, helping snow accumulation and allowing for normal availability of water.
However, the stress caused by the previous season’s lack of water and its consequent effects have taken its toll on production areas, with trees taking more than one season to recover their production potential.
On top of all of this, during the closing week of last January, the central-south zone of the country was hit with the heaviest summer precipitation on record since 1910, including high relative humidity that could lead to abortions in production areas, further decreasing projections for next season.
Due to all of the above, Chilenuts is decreasing its projections for 2021 from 164.000 Tons (original estimation). The amount of this adjustment will be released during second half of March, once the production data from the different growing areas is available