U.S. honey production in 2018 was 2 percent higher YOY, at 152.4 million pounds. North Dakota farmers saw the greatest state-by-state production at a sizable 38.2 million pounds, with Montana and California rounding out the top three at 14.4 and 13.7 million pounds, respectively. North Dakota and Montana both managed YOY increases, while California’s output remained steady. South Dakota produced just under 12 million pounds last year, a 17.5 percent decrease from its 2017 output.
The U.S. ended 2018 with total honey imports at 200,993 MT, 1,622 MT less than in 2017 but much higher than 2015 and 2016 totals. Imports at the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 were unusually high in comparison to recent years. November and December cumulative imports were 46.70 MT, 37 percent more than the previous three-year average. January 2019 imports were 20.12 MT, almost double YOY. February imports retreated by 35 percent from January’s level, to 13.12 MT, then March saw a very slight month-over-month increase, up less than 1 percent. By the end of March, the top six countries of origin had accounted for about 72 percent of total import volume this year.