The Rise and Fall of Almond Prices: Asia, Drought, and Consumer Preference
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[Excerpt] In recent years, nuts have become a crucial export commodity, and nuts now play an influential role as a staple among U.S. agricultural exports. Throughout the 2000s, the harvests and sales of almonds, walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts rose. During this period, almond output in particular flourished and quickly outpaced the growth of other nuts as demand rose among Asian economies and domestic consumers. That demand subsequently led to higher prices, with the price per pound of almonds rising from $1.79 in 2010 to $4.00 in 2014. On the supply side, effects from the drought in California slowed the pace of almond production despite continual growth in almond acreage. Yet, between June 2015 and April 2016, prices dropped for 10 consecutive months, a response to stalled foreign demand and a strong U.S. supply. This Beyond the Numbers article examines how almonds have become such an influential U.S. export and details the factors that have contributed to dramatic fluctuations in prices.
almonds; agricultural exports; production; price fluctuation