Ag Today August 9, 2018

Tariffs Could Take A Big Toll On America’s Nut Farmers

CBS Sacramento – August 9, 2018 at 8:23 am

(CNN) — The world loves America’s nuts. The United States is the largest producer and exporter of tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pecans. That’s why international trade is so vital to this industry.

It’s also why the hefty retaliatory tariffs that China has imposed and the ones India is threatening to levy have left many growers uncertain about their next steps. Sales are faltering, prompting some growers to hold off on buying new equipment and others to halt plans to plant more trees.

The trade war is hurting California, in particular, since that’s where many tree nuts grow.

The Golden State produces more than 80% of the world’s almonds and exports 70% of them, according to the Almond Board of California. This year is expected to be a record crop of 2.45 billion pounds.

The board has spent more than two decades building its trading relationship with China, which represents a $600 million business, said Richard Waycott, the industry group’s CEO. Some 9% of US almonds wind up in China.

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