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- Almond crop basics, such as where and how they're grown
- Current market size and price
- Primary purchasers and markets
- Major and minor tailwinds boosting almond market health
- Major and minor headwinds currently affecting almond market prospects
- And more.
Even though they originated in Asia, these days, almonds are largely a U.S. crop. The U.S. is the number one producer globally, supplying about 80% of the world’s almonds.
California, with its distinctly Mediterranean climate, is responsible for all—yes, all—of that production. About two-thirds of U.S. almonds are exported. This past year, some export markets suffered as a result of pandemic lockdowns.
Thanks to the growing popularity of almonds and almond products domestically and abroad, the U.S. almond market has grown steadily with alternating peaks and valleys over the past 20 years. Through strong branding and innovative uses, companies like Blue Diamond have helped to grow that demand. (Consider almond milk; it barely existed 10 years ago and now uses a fifth of U.S. production.)
In 2014, prices hit $4 per pound—an all-time high. This led farmers to plant more. As those trees neared maturity in 2020, total almond yields grew to a record 3 billion pounds that year. That bumper crop resulted in reducing almonds’ price per pound to its lowest in 18 years: $1.55.
Despite this seeming setback, almonds’ future looks positive. Prices will probably stay relatively low for a while, but these cycles tend to correct themselves every few years as planting slows in response to price lows.
We’re also seeing exports ramp back up as the world recovers from COVID-19. Demand for almonds remains quite high, and farms with strong water rights should see markets for their crop continue to grow.
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