In the US, nut prices have fallen to multiyear lows as fears over the pandemic and lockdown measures crunch big buyers (airlines, hotels and pubs). Benchmark US almond prices have been hit hardest, plunging about 40 per cent this year to levels not seen in a decade, while walnuts are down 18 per cent and cashews have lost 10 per cent, according to commodity data company Mintec.
During the initial stage of lockdowns, hoarding caused higher demand for shelf stable nuts, but the drop in demand for out-of-home snacking and from the food service sector led to a steep drop in consumption, according to Ashok Krishen, head of the edible nuts business at agricultural commodity trader Olam.
Technocodex.com reports that, coupled with expected bumper harvests in many of the nut varieties this year, the fall in demand has led to an oversupply of nuts in the market and a sharp fall in prices.
Suppliers have found themselves with warehouses full of raw and processed nuts and contracts signed for deliveries later this year, leading to a scramble to reduce inventories.