Nutfruit Magazine

The official voice of the INC

05 April, 2022 Country Product Spotlight

Industry Highlight: Hazelnuts Turkey

Industry Highlight: Hazelnuts Turkey

This Country Product Spotlight is the seventh in a series of industry and market overviews in the Nutfruit magazine. This report provides a snapshot of the hazelnut industry in Turkey, with data, analysis, and trends.


The cultivated hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) is native to northern Turkey's Black Sea coast, which presents a climate conducive to its production. Hazelnuts have been cultivated in Turkey for many years, and they are deeply entwined with the region's social, economic, and cultural values[2]. Hazelnut holds an essential place in Turkish horticulture due to its export-driven production and uses as an ingredient; hazelnuts are indeed one of the most important ingredients in the chocolate industry[3].

Turkey is the world's largest hazelnut producer, with an average crop (2012/13- 2021/22) of 715,000 metric tons in-shell basis/357,500 kernel basis, accounting for 66% of the world's hazelnut production[4] (Figure 1), and a total area of about 741,473 hectares[5] (Table 1, Figure 2). Over the last ten seasons, the Turkish crop ranged between 500,000 and 820,000 MT in-shell basis/250,000 and 410,000 MT kernel basis[4] (Figure 1), with variations mainly due to the hazelnut alternate bearing cycle and weather conditions.

Hazelnuts in Turkey are grown mainly in the north of the country, in two distinctive areas in the Black Sea coast, known as the old and the new regions. The old area is located in the Black Sea's eastern portion, especially in the provinces of Ordu, Giresun, Samsun and Trabzon; and the new region is situated in the Western Black Sea and East Marmara, covering the region from Sinop to Istanbul (Figure 2). Orchards in the new region are younger and present higher yields, while the old region is important in terms of quality[2,3]. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, the Eastern Black Sea region accounts for 73% of the hazelnut-bearing area, followed by the Western Black Sea and the Eastern Marmara regions, with 27% of the share (Table 1).

Hazelnut production areas in Turkey are cultivated with mixed varieties; there are several commercial varieties, from which the most important is Tombul, especially in terms of quality (Table 2). Turkish varieties are appreciated worldwide by their high quality, high kernel yield (with an average of around 50%) and fat content[6,7]; most of which is monounsaturated (76%) and polyunsaturated (12%) fat. They are grouped according to their shape into three categories: Round, Pointed (or Long “Sivri”) and Almondshaped (or Long)[6,7].

Although conventional cultivation and propagation methods with intensive labor prevail in Turkey, in recent years, the application of new agricultural technologies has been increasing and new orchards have been established. Due to the suitable climatic conditions of the Black Sea region, hazelnuts have been traditionally grown under rainfed. However, over the past few years, support irrigation has started to be implemented. Especially in June and July, when yield components could be affected by drought, particularly in orchards with south-facing slopes and shallow soils. In general, harvest takes place during August and September and is picked by hand in the old region but mechanically harvested in the new region. Recently, mechanical harvest has become widespread in flat areas[6,8]. Fruit drying is traditionally carried out using solar energy and the blending process (separating the kernel from the husk) is mechanical and lasts until October.

Under Turkish conditions, hazelnuts can be easily stored in traditional warehouses for up to two years[9].


Apart from being the world top hazelnut producer, Turkey is also the world leader when it comes to hazelnut and hazelnut products exports[9]. According to the INC Database, Turkey accounts, on average (2016-2020), for 75% of the world hazelnut exports share. Based on the Black Sea Exporters Association reports, Turkish hazelnut international shipments –including all forms: in-shell, shelled and processed– between 2011/12 and 2020/21 marketing years (September 1-August 31) fluctuated between 217,400 MT and 343,600 MT (Figure 3).

Over the last five seasons, Turkey exported hazelnuts to 104 different countries around the world. The main market is the EU, which on average (2016/17-2020/21) imported over 231,500 MT of hazelnuts. Within this region, Germany accounted for 32% of the share, followed by Italy with 28% and France with 10%. Shipments to Asia amounted to 18,700 MT, with China being the main destination (74% of the region share) (Figure 4).

Producers sell hazelnuts to both the Government of Turkey, through the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) and private companies. International corporations handle around 40% of all exports. Most years, the TMO also purchases and stores nuts. According to industry sources, in 2021, 90% of the total crop was sold to the private market while TMO purchased around 10%.


Although the majority of the Turkish hazelnut production is exported, around 75% according to INC data, and the main consuming markets are European countries, there is also a fairly significant domestic consumption. The local demand size is quite variable year on year as a function of the alternate bearing and the exporting markets. Over the last decade, local consumption averaged about 60,300 MT, kernel basis (Table 3).

1. Source of livelihood for 400,000 families in the East Black Sea region.
2. İslam, A. (2018). Hazelnut culture in Turkey. Akademik Ziraat Dergisi, 7(2), 259-266.
3. Anil, S., Kurt, H., Akar, A. and Köse, C.B. (2018). Hazelnut culture in Turkey. XXX International Horticultural Congress.
4. INC Database
5. Öztürk, S., Özturk, E. and Duyar, Ö. (2022). Applied Hazelnut Guide. Black Sea Hazelnut Exporters Association.
6. İslam, A. (2018). Hazelnut culture in Turkey. Akademik Ziraat Dergisi, 7(2), 259-266.
7. Prof. Dr. Uygun Aksoy (2021), Varieties and Uses course, INC Academia.
8. USDA FAS GAIN Report, Turkey Tree Nuts Annual (2021).
9. Anil, S., Kurt, H., Akar, A. and Köse, C.B. (2018). Hazelnut culture in Turkey. XXX International Horticultural Congress.
Cookies Policy

This site may use some cookies to enhance user experience. Please, accept it before navigate in our website. We recommend you to read the cookies policy .