Downward Pressure on Walnut Prices
It has been a tough 12 months for the prices of many agricultural commodities, and walnuts are no exception. Economic uncertainty and higher yield numbers than expected have contributed, says Walnut Bargaining Association General Manager, Jon Field.
Field… “So we have a huge production. We had a lot of uncertainty and consequently, there was basically a lot of downward pressure on marketing and prices. And so, prices right now back to growers: we are hoping that they will end up around 70 cents, but probably it'll be more in that 50 to 60 cent per pound range.”
Despite the current challenges, Field remains optimistic about global walnut demand long term. But, he admits, it may take a few years to find that equilibrium.
Field… “There's been a slowdown at movement, but we have through the Walnut Board - the commodity promotion efforts of the Walnut programs - they've made a pretty concerted effort to improve marketing on the domestic level and internationally. How much that kicks in, I think is going to be a longer term process. I think you're looking at probably three to five years before we get back to some semblance of equilibrium.”
The Walnut Bargaining Association is a small, grower-owned cooperative that performs an economic analysis annually to recommend fair and equitable prices to the industry.