The Price of Nuts Drives Me Nuts
September 16, 2008 3:23 PM   Subscribe

Anyone know why walnuts are so expensive right now? I went to my local healthy store today and non-organic walnuts are now $9.50 a pound. Are speculators involved? I could have sworn six months ago the price was under $5.00.
posted by Xurando to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Walnut price forecast rises.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:38 PM on September 16, 2008

Also, this;

"While the crop may be big, there won't be any walnut surplus because the nuts are in short supply, said Dennis Balint, the California Walnut Board's executive director.

"It's a record harvest. However, if we look at what we have for an opening inventory for the new crop year, then what we look at for a total availability is less than what we had for 2006, 2005 or 2004."

The board estimates the 2008 harvest, plus carryover supplies, will add up to 407,000 tons of California walnuts available in the coming year. Balint said that is the lowest such figure since 2002."

posted by Effigy2000 at 3:40 PM on September 16, 2008

Walnut price forecast rises (in 2006).
posted by ssg at 3:50 PM on September 16, 2008

As far as I am aware, there is not an exchange that trades walnut futures, so I would doubt that it is due to speculators. Maybe the harvest was not as good, the supply was smaller and prices are higher. Try a regular grocery to see if they have a better price.
posted by Frank Grimes at 4:18 PM on September 16, 2008

That's how much they cost at regular grocery stores, too. (at least in Colorado)
posted by crunchtopmuffin at 4:21 PM on September 16, 2008

I imagine also some of reason is due to high fuel prices. Cat food has gone up at least 25 cents since fuel has skyrocketed. Certainly you need fuel to transport the walnuts to your store, so that has something to do with it.

I'm a cashew man, m'self. ;-)
posted by tcv at 4:44 PM on September 16, 2008

Tariffs are.

In 2008 imported shelled walnuts were charged 26.5 cents per kilogram, or 58.3 cents per pound. Of course that doesn't make up for it...
posted by shmooly at 4:47 PM on September 16, 2008

With the omega-3 craze in the last few years, maybe demand is higher for plain walnuts, and more manufacturers are putting them into things like cereal, granola bars, etc? (That might explain why there wasn't as much surplus left over from last year)
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:54 PM on September 16, 2008

Geez, and I've got 1100 lbs of walnuts in the garage... to tag on to this question a related one- how can i get rid of them? Will a food bank want them?
posted by pjern at 9:08 PM on September 16, 2008

I bought bulk walnuts a few hours ago at a Cub Foods store in Minnesota. $7.99 per pound.
posted by gimonca at 9:17 PM on September 16, 2008

In the long-range view? Loss of farmland in California.
posted by salvia at 9:42 PM on September 16, 2008

We're less than a month from the annual harvest here in California. This would have to be the lowest point of the year in terms of available stock, which in turn may be affecting prices.
posted by cali at 10:36 PM on September 16, 2008

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