Wholesale Walnut Prices

Historical prices & projections for the coming decade

Although wholesale walnut prices fluctuate from year to year due to global crop yields and other market conditions, the long term trend in global walnut prices is clearly upward. Walnut acreage is by definition a long-term investment that generates income for generations and it should be evaluated as such, looking at the long-term average price rather than the results of a single year or even the last 5 years.

Imperial Units
Metric Units

About FOB Prices

This chart, with data from 1997 – June 2018, reflects the last 20 years of wholesale walnut FOB export prices in the Southern Cone. Wholesale FOB prices are the most accurate measure of what a large walnut grower with on-site processing was paid for their harvest, since FOB prices reflect the price paid at the grower’s home port. The grower must pay for ground transportation to their home port, but no international freight, insurance, or any import costs at the destination port.

Smaller growers that sell to third-party nut processors, bundlers, exporters, or other intermediaries will have been paid less.

Southern Cone In-Shell Walnut Prices

Annual Wholesale Walnut Prices

The following price table includes data only from the Southern Cone region (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay).

Year FOB Export Price
($ / lbs.)
Inflation-Adjusted
FOB Export Price
($ / lbs.)
1997 $1.43 $2.25
1998 $1.41 $2.18
1999 $1.29 $1.95
2000 $1.00 $1.46
2001 $1.00 $1.42
2002 $0.77 $1.08
2003 $0.86 $1.18
2004 $1.09 $1.45
2005 $1.27 $1.64
2006 $1.22 $1.53
2007 $1.41 $1.71
2008 $2.13 $2.49
2009 $1.27 $1.49
2010 $1.95 $2.25
2011 $2.09 $2.34
2012 $1.41 $1.54
2013 $2.09 $2.26
2014 $2.49 $2.65
2015 $2.00 $2.12
2016 $1.22 $1.28
2017 $1.67 $1.72
2018 $1.64 $1.64
Source: ODEPA, BLS CPI, 2018 Data January-June

Projecting Future Prices

With both the weather and the market outside our control, a grower must plan to be profitable even during down years. This is why it is important when evaluating an investment in walnut farmland to evaluate returns during average years, down years, and good years.

Average 20-Year Price

After adjusting for inflation, the 20-year average price in the Southern Cone is $1.80 / lbs. We recommend investors use this price to estimate their long-term returns. This is the value Chandler Orchards utilizes in our internal pricing models and when estimating prices in a normal year.

Standard Deviation

To arrive at pessimistic and optimistic price estimates, it is necessary to first calculate the standard deviation. In real-dollar terms, the standard deviation over the last 20 years was $0.45, meaning 68% of the time, prices were registered between $1.35 – $2.25.

For this reason, we use $1.35 as our pessimistic price target and use $2.25 as an optimistic price target. In the Investor Cashflow Projections, we present profit scenarios using all three pricing models: 

  1. Optimistic: Using a 1-standard deviation price increase of $2.25 as the price target.
  2. Neutral: Using the 20-year historical inflation-adjusted average of $1.80 as the price target.
  3. Pessimistic: Using a 1-standard deviation price reduction of $1.35 as the price target.

We encourage investors to examine each price scenario to understand how prices affect profits at the end of each season.