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Walnut, Juglans regia / Juglandaceae
The world production amounts to 1.200.000t approximately and China it is the first producing country.

There are several hypotheses on the origin of the walnut tree. Its spontaneity has been proved in some Asian areas and its spread in Europe. As far as the cultivated tree, its culture is owed to the Romans; it is thought that the legions took the plant to the regions near the Rhin, in Germany, as well as to Spain. Afterwards, it was introduced in France and England. The walnut tree was taken to America by the Spanish navigators and it was widely accepted in California; its introduction in the S hemisphere is quite more recent. At present, the walnut tree is cultivated mainly in the south of Europe, where its quality is superior to the commercial cultures from other continents, India, northern regions of Japan, China, South America and in general, all the regions of the world of temperate climate.

The world production is as follows:

ContinentThousand tons%
Africa181
Asia61951
Europe27423
North America27423
South America222
Total1,207100

Source: Fresh Produce Desk Book (1999)

China is the country with greater production in the world, followed by the United States, that is also the country with a greater number of exports to Canada, Germany, Italy, Israel, Japan, Korea and Spain.

CountryThousand tons
China250F(*)
The USA206
Iran125F
Turkey120
Ukraine77F
Rumania32
India30
France28
Greece20
Pakistan19F

Source: FAO Production Yearbook (1998)
(*) F: Value estimated by the FAO

In Europe, Italy, France, Portugal and Spain offer a wide and exemplary collection of samples of this fruit’s culture in their different regions. This fruit’s seed has a fleshy and delicious meat. Although the production in Spain is scarce, it is quite easy to find in the markets walnuts coming from Extremadura, Comunidad Valenciana, Cataluña, Castilla-La Mancha, Andalucía, Aragón and Murcia.

Spain imports Californian walnuts since 1975 and it increases every year. It has reached a certain stability around 18.000t every year for the last 10 years; nevertheless the great size and exceptional shape and cleanness of these walnuts do not correspond to the quality of the almond, since it has less meat than the walnuts produced in the European countries. The amount of exports, however, is not significant. In Spain, the main areas of culture are:

AreaHectaresTons
Extremadura5651,076
Comunidad Valenciana560635
Cataluña910532
Castilla-La Mancha250440
Andalucía600360
Aragón250138
Murcia25039
Total3,3853,220

Source: The Spanish Horticulture (2001)

The main country in imports of walnuts with shell is Spain. Japan is the main import country of peeled walnuts, with an amount of 8,542 thousand tons. Besides, France, Canada, United Kingdom and China import more decorticated nuts than walnuts with shell. The following table shows the 10 main import countries of nuts with shell.

CountryTons
Spain17,830
Italy14,056
Germany13,744
Mexico7,989
The Netherlands6,273
Brazil3,073
Canada1,978
United Kingdom1,908
Portugal1,744
Turkey1,603

Source: FAO Trade (1999)

The main export country of nuts both with shell as peeled are the United States. China, Republic of Moldova, Rumania and India export more peeled nuts than walnuts with shell. The amounts of nuts with shell exported are the following:

CountryTons
USA39,850
France13,825
México11,394
Chile4,933
China4,742
The Netherlands2,194
Bulgaria1,400
Republic of Maldova729
Belgium-Luxembourg542
Hungary460

Source: FAO Trade (1999)
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