almond demand and supply

A Nutty Demand and Supply Story

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Dec 26, 2013    •    3144 Views

Our almond story starts on the demand side in China with a name change. Just like apricot kernals, California almonds had been called xing ren until the apricot kernel growers accused the Americans of “deceiving consumers.” Trying to minimize a marketing crisis, the California Almond Board responded with a new name, 巴旦木 (bādànmù), the phonetic translation of a Farsi word for almond.

Chinese Demand for Almonds

A perfect example of lemons becoming lemonade, the new branding is helping to buoy sales. Now, with no chance of a mix-up, almonds are clearly associated with US production and the quality standards sought by the Chinese consumer.

Also on the demand side, in the US, almond consumption is increasing. Confirmed by a November article in the New England Journal of Medicine, nuts are associated with a wide range of health benefits.

demand and supply almond exports

Meanwhile, on the supply side, drought in parts of California–the source of 82% of the world’s almonds– and rain in Spain–the world’s second largest almond grower- have meant a smaller almond crop this year.

demand and supply world almond production

The result? Demand shifts to the right, supply to the left, and price goes up.

Demand and Supply for Almonds

Actual almond farm prices per pound:

Almond prices

Sources and Resources: For all you ever wanted to know about almond demand and supply and more, the California Almond Board presents the details. I do also recommend articles on Chinese almond demand in the NY Times and, and this description of the branding crisis.



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