[30 July/Robert Dawes Consulting]

US almond farmers were under pressure as they approached what was likely to be a record season. Prices of California almonds fell nearly 10 percent over the past few months. The drop was due to steep tariffs and expectations of a bumper crop. China added a 50 percent tax to almond imports. China has also closed a loophole allowing large volumes of almonds to be transported via Vietnam. Stewart & Jasper Orchards Owner, Jim Jasper, said China was very important and its demand had increased a lot. After suffering for many years, California’s almond industry only recently bounced back. U.S. almond exports to China in June were about half of what they were in the previous year. According to a Chinese importer, almonds were recently removed from a list of goods exempt from tax under the border town exemptions.