Two months into the 2018/19 marketing year, walnut exports were down 22 percent from Sep-Oct 2017/18. Last season, the U.S. shipped 3.0 million pounds of in-shell nuts and 408,500 pounds of shelled nuts to China during Sep-Oct; this year, in-shell shipments to China were just 878,644 pounds, down 71 percent, and shelled shipments were 253,650 pounds, down 37 percent. In a typical season, exports account for about 75 percent of walnut utilization.
Domestic shipments were 4 percent higher than a year ago, thanks to shipments of shelled nuts being up 15 percent year over year, which offset a 26 percent decline in the volume in-shell shipments. U.S. per-capita walnut consumption is thought to have declined in 2017/18 from 2016/17’s record, and it may be that 2018/19 will see a rise in domestic demand.
Cumulative walnut exports by season