There are two major species of walnuts: the English walnut and the black walnut. The former is also known as the Persian walnut, since it originated in Persia. The latter traces its origin to North America. The English hybrid is grown on a commercial scale and numerous cultivars have been developed over time.
China is the world’s biggest producer of walnuts. In the year 2016/17, the country produced 1,060,000 tons of walnut. China accounted for about 50% of the total walnut production in the world. The country is also the world’s biggest consumer of walnuts. The per capita consumption of walnuts in China has steeply grown from only 0.17 kg in 1995 to 1.8 kg in 2016. China’s 24% growth in per capita walnut consumption rate is well ahead of the global average of 5.8%.
The United States
The US ranks second in walnut production in the world. The country accounts for nearly one-third of the global production of walnuts. California in the US is the country’s top walnut producing state. In fact, the state accounts for nearly all the walnut production of the US. The Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley regions in California are famous for walnut production. Nearly 4,900 farmers in California grow walnuts. In 2016/17, the US produced 607,810 tons of walnut.
Other major walnut producing nations
China and the US account for nearly three-quarters of the global walnut production. The European Union, Ukraine, Chile, Turkey, and Moldova are the other top regions/countries for walnut production.