Used widely as a snack food and in confectionery products, particularly desserts and bakery products, production is estimated to rise to 100,000 MT in 2006, reports the US department of agriculture.
Production is highly cyclical and can vary a great deal with the 2006 figures marking a considerable leap from the industry estimations for 2005 pistachio production, hit by frosts, at between 30,000 MT and 45,000 MT.
Pistachios are mainly produced in the Southeastern Anatolia, a region that corresponds to the Asian portion of Turkey.
Plantations continue to increase in this area, where stronger profit-making pistachios are replacing olive trees.
The retail price for roasted in shell Gaziantep pistachios is about $11 a kilo.
"This price was about the same a year ago, even though there was a 9 per cent inflation in the last 12 months," says the report.
In 2004 marketing year the average export price for shelled pistachios from Turkey was about $10,900 per MT, $6,900 per MT for processed pistachios, and for in shell about $6,600 per MT.
Turkish pistachios are thinner and smaller than their Iranian counterpart. Slirt pistachios, about 15 per cent of the total production, are bigger and command higher prices on the market than the traditional Turkish pistachios.
In Turkey, claims the US report, size is directly related to quality: 90 nuts or less per 100 grammes is considered first quality, 90 to 100 nuts are second quality, 100 to 120 nuts third, and above 120 nuts are fourth quality.