There Are Big Improvements in International Market For California Walnuts
There are big improvements in the international markets for California walnuts.
Claire Lee is the Assistant International marketing Director for the California Walnut Board. She said things are looking much better for California Walnut growers in terms of shipping overseas.
“It's looking better. Things aren't the same as they were a year ago. There's definitely been improvements in the markets, things that were really pushing down, the market earlier last year. We don't have that issue today,” Lee said.
She explains last year's problems with exports. ”Chile had a lot of oversupply and a lot of crop in the markets and that really created a lot of issues, especially in Europe,” she noted.
“California growers also had a lot of excess inventory going into the harvest and so the pipelines were full, and this year those pipelines are empty. Chile has sold through, we don't have any excess inventory, so foreign market demand is high,” she said.
And new markets must be found because over the next five years there'll be another 196,000 tons entering the market just from California farmers. “That's the estimate from the strategic planning that happened earlier this year. We have a lot of trees in the ground and we have a lot of trees in the ground that aren't even producing yet, so we have to be ready for the larger crops to come,” Lee noted.
And the California Walnut Board does have a strategic plan to do it. “We have to increase domestic and international demand. We also must increase , advocacy, and sustainability. All of those priorities are going to be high for us in order to continue to grow the industry,” Lee explained.