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Hazelnut, Corylus avellana / Corylacea (Betulaceae)
The hazelnut originates from Asia and many of the cultivated varieties nowadays have their origin in the XIXth century.

The world produces 700,000t and Spain occupies the third place, being Cataluña the main culture area.

The hazelnut is original from Asia Minor. Chinese manuscripts have been found that talk about this fruit five thousand years back. The Greeks and the Romans spread it all over Europe, where it has been used throughout the centuries until the present time. Many of the cultivated varieties at the moment were obtained in the XIXth century, when there was a great interest for hybrids and the selection of species.

The estimated world production is around 650-700,000t in the last years and the main producing countries are Turkey, Italy, Spain and the United States.

Country
Tons
Turkey550,000
Italy100,000
Spain16,500
USA18,150
Others *30,000
Total714,650


Source: Inc. Source. The Craker, September 2000

* Georgia, Greece, France, etc.

In Spain the areas where nowadays the culture has greater importance are Cataluña, Comunidad Valenciana and País Vasco.

Area
HectaresTons
Cataluña27,36518,100
Comunidad Valenciana1,348900
País Vasco162520
Asturias-240
Aragón7,30035
Others52205
Total36,22720,000


Source: La Horticultura Española (2001)

Traditionally, Spain is a hazelnut export country; nevertheless, in the last few years, imports come mainly from Turkey, due to the irregularity of the harvests. Export has diminished lately due to the Turkish competition. In 2000/01 exports are estimated to be 420.000t, as opposed to 14.000t that Spain would export. Moreover, export is very shared out and the main destinies are France, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia and Denmark.

The first hazelnut without shell import country is China and the countries that follow are:

Country
Thousand tons
China71,998
Italy19,298
France16,678
Switzerland12,260
Belgium-Luxembourg10,623
USA5,643
Austria4,365
Spain3,989
The Netherlands3,254
United Kingdom2,612


Source: The FAO Trade (1999)

The main export country of hazelnuts without shell is Turkey, but there are also other countries, which are the following:

Country
Thousand tons
Turkey120,629
Italy18,331
Azerbaijan5,400
Spain4,422
Germany4,059
France851
Belgium Luxembourg581
Austria312
Greece156
Lituania85


Source: The FAO Trade (1999).
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