U.S. honey imports fell in Q2 2019 to 48,800 MT, despite prices from major suppliers being weaker than a year ago. Of our top honey import origins, only Argentina achieved a YOY increase in volume thanks in part to a 9 percent YOY drop in pricing that effectively undercut Brazil. Strong imports during Q1 2019 helped set the stage for quieter trade in Q2.
Total honey imports in 2018 were 442.4 million pounds, with a per capita consumption rate of 1.4 dry pounds per person, unchanged from 2017. Over the last five years, imports have supplied over 70 percent on average of U.S. domestic honey demand, due to the rise in use and lower domestic production.
In top-producer North Dakota, the 2019 honey harvest is reportedly shaping up well, despite the delay in this season’s sunflower bloom. The state produced 38.2 million pounds of honey in 2018, from a record 530,000 colonies. Honey yield was 74.0 pounds per colony, the same as in 2017. In California, where production increased to 13.7 million pounds last year, up from 12.5 million in 2014, wildflower bloom in the foothills and mountains has lasted longer due to heavy spring rains, and nectar flows were very good.
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