China Still Number One Market for American Pistachios
“Our number one market for about 10 years is China. They overtook Western Europe as our number one market place. There has been phenomenal growth in China for us, pistachios and each and every year with the exception of one or two years when we had very small crops to sell. China has made the U.S. the preferred buyer of the product,” Matoian said.
However, California pistachios have had to compete head to head with Iran for that China marketplace. “China has in the past been price-sensitive. But I think now that they recognize the value and the quality of American grown pistachios, they have preferred our product, and are not as price-sensitive because they're looking for a quality and a consistent product that is high in food safety,” noted Matoian.
Matoian added that some buyers continue to prefer Iranian pistachios. “Certainly there are buyers in any number of categories, that are still very price-conscious, but we have other buyers that are very quality conscious and with the quality of what we grow here in the U. S. we have some very dedicated buyers for our products,” Matoian said.