California almond growers are celebrating the upcoming harvest this fall, which is expected to be record-breaking. But in retaliation for tariff’s issued by the Trump administration, China imposed a 50 percent tariff on U.S. almonds — all of which come from California.
This means a $3 package would now cost Chinese consumers $4.50. This $1.50 difference could cause customers to find cheaper nut alternatives, growers in California to lose massive profits, and commodity brokers to do less business.
Jerry Magdaleno, a commodities broker at Terra Nova Trading Inc. in Oakland, says these tariffs make business harder for everyone on the supply chain. “It’s not just one person,” he said. “It hurts.”
Magdaleno says if China doesn’t participate in the U.S. almond market, growers might have to start cutting their prices. “We need China very active to move these crops,” he said.
Harvesting season won’t jumpstart until August and the true effects of China’s tariffs on the almond industry won’t be seen for several months.
But fourth-generation farmer Jake Wenger says he’s concerned. “We already have the inconsistencies of weather, fuel and fertilizer,” he said, “so it is one more thing to add that growers have to be concerned of.”
Wenger says he wants to see the Trump administration focusing on opening doors of opportunity to the California almond producers, not closing them.
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