Nuts may provide up to 26 per cent less kilojoules than previously thought. A series of studies, from the US…
Where are nuts grown?
Where are nuts grown?
Tree nuts are grown all over the world, and most types are grown here in Australia. Tree nuts have been commercially grown in Australia for more than 100 years, with productivity increasing. The only nuts that aren’t grown at all in Australia are Brazil nuts, as they need the rainforests of the Amazon to grow.
Tree nuts are grown all over the world, and most types are grown here in Australia.
Australia’s nut industry: Fast facts
- Australia is the seventh largest producer of tree nuts in the world.
- The farm gate value of the Australian tree nut industry in 2021 was more than $1.2 billion.
- In 2020-21, Australians consumed around 70,000 tonnes of tree nuts.
- Tree nuts make up more than a third of Australia’s horticultural exports.
- Australian-grown nuts are currently exported to around 65 countries.
Australia is the second largest producer of almonds in the world, behind California, in the USA.
There are five major growing regions in Australia:
- Victoria: Sunraysia
- South Australia: Adelaide and the Riverland
- New South Wales: Riverina
- Western Australia: Swan Region.
In 2020, Australian-based growers produced around 114,000 tonnes of almonds (kernel). Around 61% was produced in Victoria’s growing regions, followed by South Australia (20%) and New South Wales (18%). Almonds are Australia’s most valuable horticultural export product.
Brazil nuts can only grow in South America, as they need the rainforests of the Amazon valley of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia to grow.
A native of Brazil, cashews are now also grown in Vietnam, India, Africa and Brazil, with some small orchards in northern Queensland.
Australian chestnuts are mostly grown in the southern states of Australia, including:
- New South Wales: Orange, Southern Tablelands, Blue Mountains and Batlow
- Tasmania: Northern and Central Tasmania
- Victoria: North-east and Central Victoria, and East of Melbourne
- South Australia: Adelaide Hills
- Western Australia: South-west.
Around 70% of Australia’s production is located in the North East of Victoria. Many chestnut orchards are small, family-owned orchards. In 2021, Australia produced 1,220 tonnes of chestnuts (in shell), from around 301,000 chestnut trees.
Hazelnuts are mostly grown in the temperate areas of south-eastern Australia. The main production regions are:
- New South Wales: the Central Tablelands, near Orange, and Narrandera
- Victoria: in the north-east, around Myrtleford, and in central and eastern Victoria
- Tasmania: northern parts of the State.
Small levels of production are also evident in South Australia (in the Adelaide Hills) and Western Australia (in the Manjimup region).
Many hazelnut orchards in Australia are small – with up to 6,000 trees, although this is slowly changing. Hazelnuts are not native to Australia, so commercial varieties in Australia are cultivars of the European hazelnut.
Hazelnuts are also imported into Australia – primarily from Turkey, but also from the USA and Spain.
Macadamias are Australia’s native nut and are grown along the eastern seaboard of New South Wales and Queensland, from Port Macquarie in the south to the Atherton Tablelands in the north, and a small growing region in Western Australia, south of Perth.
Around half the Australian crop is produced in New South Wales, and half in Queensland. Production is expanding most rapidly in the Clarence Valley (NSW) and Bundaberg, in Queensland – which is also the single largest growing region in Australia.
In 2020, Australia produced around 53,000 tonnes (in shell). The kernel equivalent is around 17,388 tonnes. There are currently around 8 million macadamia trees under cultivation in Australia.
Macadamias are also grown in Hawaii (USA), South Africa, Kenya and Guatemala.
The majority of Australian pecans are grown in the Gwydir Valley, east of Moree in northern inland New South Wales.
Smaller scale production includes:
- New South Wales: from the Hunter Valley and Nelsons Bay on the NSW Central Coast, to the Mid North Coast near Kempsey and the North Coast around Lismore.
- Queensland: at Mundubbera and Eidsvold in the south east in the Lockyer Valley and south to the NSW border.
Smaller plantings also exist in South Australia and Western Australia.
Australia currently produces around 2,800 tonnes of pecans (in shell). The kernel equivalent is around 1,600 tonnes.
Pecans are also grown in the USA and Mexico (which together account for more than 90% of the world’s crop), and South Africa.
Most pine nuts in Australia are imported from Asia and the Mediterranean, but there are small orchards near Mt Hotham in Victoria and the Southern Tablelands in New South Wales.
The major pistachio production areas are along the Murray River Valley between Swan Hill in Victoria and Waikerie in South Australia. Further plantings are located in central west Victoria, Pinnaroo in South Australia, and the Riverina in New South Wales.
There also are a small number of growers in Central New South Wales, southern Victoria and Western Australia. And a central commercial processing facility is located in Robinvale in Victoria.
Australian pistachio production averages around 3,000 tonnes (in shell) per year, and this is expected to grow to 4,500 tonnes by 2024. Around 50% of our domestic demand for pistachios is currently met by imports.
Pistachios are also grown in the USA, Iran and Turkey.
Walnuts are grown more widely (geographically) across Australia than some other tree nuts, and particularly thrive in cool-temperate and semi-arid regions. Major production areas are largely in south-east Australia in:
- New South Wales: the Riverina near Griffith and Leeton
- Tasmania: on the east coast of Tasmania
- Victoria: the Goulburn Valley near Shepparton and the Murray Irrigation near Kerang and Swan Hill.
Small-scale orchards are scattered in the Ovens Valley, Gippsland and Central region of Victoria; Southern Highlands and Central Tablelands (New South Wales); the Adelaide Hills and Riverland regions (South Australia); and in the south west (Western Australia).
In 2021, Australia produced more than 6,350 tonnes of walnut kernel (around 12,700 tonnes in shell), from more than 1.2 million walnut trees. The walnut industry is very young in Australia, with 90% of our walnut trees planted within the last 15 years.
A native of the northern hemisphere, major supplies to Australia come from California, USA and China, but they are also grown in Chile and Eastern Europe.
Published March 30, 2022