U.S. honey production was around 156.9 million pounds in 2019, up 2 percent from 2018 but down 2 percent from the previous five-year average of 160 million pounds. Honey stocks as of Dec. 15 were 41.0 million pounds, up 40 percent year over year.
Top-producer North Dakota’s 2019 volume was 33.8 million pounds, supplying 22 percent of the U.S. total for the year. Production in the state was down 15 percent from 2018’s level, however. North Dakota’s December honey stocks were over 6.4 million pounds, notably higher than the previous two years.
South Dakota’s honey production recovered from 2018’s very low volume—which was below 12.0 million pounds—and rose to over 19.4 million pounds. This figure is a three-year high, and while it is considerably lower than the state’s record production of 24.4 million pounds in 2014, it shows a welcome recovery in a state that has suffered severe bee colony losses. South Dakota’s December honey stocks were 7.6 million pounds, up 47 percent YOY.
In 2019, California surpassed Montana in honey production, adding 16.1 million pounds to the U.S. supply vs. Montana’s 14.9 million. Production in California has been rising annually since 2015, when volume fell to just 8.3 million pounds; the state’s high point was in 2010, when production was 27.5 million pounds.
U.S. imports of honey in 2019 totaled 415.8 million pounds, down 6 percent from 2018. Vietnam remained the top origin, supplying 20 percent of the annual total, but Argentina was a very close second with a 19 percent share. Imports in January were 34.3 million pounds, down 23 percent from January 2019 but still a high volume for the month. Vietnam supplied 30 percent.