Total Exports of California Walnuts to China Drop 60 Percent in November

Tue. January 6th, 2015 - by Andrew McDaniel

CALIFORNIA – Last year, California lost a large amount of its walnut exports from China, which has left growers concerned.

CBS Sacramento reports that walnuts generate $1.4 billion in revenue for California growers, and China has traditionally been the largest exporter. According to the California Walnut Board, exports to Hong Kong were down more than 60% in November compared to 2013.

“The Chinese were concerned, I think, the prices were a little higher than they should have been,” Mat Conant, President of Conant Orchards tells CBS. “And so they basically pulled out of the market and bought very few walnuts in California this year.”

Conant added that the Chinese were able to produce much more of their own walnuts in 2014 as well.

Without a guarantee of Chinese exports, the question of who will replace that demand is still up in the air. Conant tells CBS, “India has bought quite a few walnuts this year and are increasing, but they’re still nowhere compared to the number that the Chinese bought.”

This decrease in demand would result in walnut price decreases. In his interview with CBS, Conant estimated that income would be down $1,200 an acre. He added that this could lead to a slight on grocery shelves but that it would be fairly insignificant.

The markets are always changing, and there is a chance that China could come back onboard and increase exports in 2015. Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow as we continue to follow this story.