Pine Nuts

Revised October, 2018.

 pine nutsProduction                                                    

In season 2016/2017, world production of pine nuts achieved 23,600 MT (kernel basis), that is, 20 percent up from the previous year. Korea DPR was the main producer country in 2017, with a crop of 6,000 MT, which represents the 25% of total production. Korea DPR was followed by Russian Fed. (21% share), China (17% share), Pakistan (13% share) and Afghanistan (13% share). (INC, 2017)

Shelled Pine Nuts’ exports accounted 17,000 MT in 2015. China was the main exporting country, shipping 13,443 MT, the 78% of total pine nuts’ exports. 29% of these imports went to USA, while 31% went to Germany, the main destination of China’s pine nuts. (INC, 2017)

Value-Added Products

Pine nuts aka Pignolias are getting attention from today’s cooks and restaurants as a new flavor to add to a variety of dishes including the popular the pesto. 

The shelled pine nuts appear like puffed grains of rice. They are consumed raw, roasted or used as an ingredient for such things as breads, candies, cookies, cakes, sauces, meat, fish and vegetable dishes.
Pine nuts are also important sources of food for wildlife including songbirds, quails, squirrels, chipmunks, black bears and mule deer.

Pine nut oil is obtained by pressing and is available on the market as an expensive gourmet cooking oil or a medicine.

Apart from cooking and medicine, pine nut oil is used in cosmetics, beauty products and as a high-end massage oil. It also has a variety of specialty uses such as a wood finish, paint base for paintings and treatment of fine skins in leather industry.  (University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry 2004)


Nuts and Dried Fruit Global Statistical Review, 2016/17. International Nut and Dried Fruit (INC)
Pine Nuts, Non-Wood Forest Products form Conifers, FAO, UN, 1998.
Pine Nuts: Species, Products, Markets and Potential for U.S. Production, University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry, 2004 - This report describes the global pine nut industry and the potential for expanding the economic scope of the Southwest's pinyon nut industry.

Links checked February 2018.