California has set a new record for its almond crop: 2.4 billion pounds are expected to be harvested starting next month.
Despite a winter freeze, California almonds will see an increase of almost 8 percent over last year. Some 70,000 additional acres came into production. And last year’s inventory is almost sold out, all good news for growers.
But China is proposing tariffs on American commodities, including almonds, a tariff that could raise prices by as much as 50 percent.
It’s unclear whether the proposed tariff by China will impact the crop. China is the third-largest importer of California almonds.
Manteca almond grower Dave Phippen says the tariffs raise uncertainty in the market.
“We don’t know yet exactly what the extent of the tariff is going to be or how long it’s going to last. We export a large percentage of the California crop so the export markets are very important to us,” he said.
Phippen added that prices have been stable during the past 12 months. “They’ve risen slightly. I would guess that the consumers in the United States are going to see pretty much an even pricing compared to last year, should be the same,” he said.
The state produces 80 percent of the almond crop worldwide, and 70 percent is exported, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.