One nut has surpassed dairy while another nut is nipping at dairy’s heels.
With $4.5 billion in sales, almonds are the clear market leader in California for products that are produced in that state and exported worldwide. Dairy had commanded a solid second place position. However, with sales off 13.5 percent — as measured on a dollar-value basis — wine slipped past dairy to take command of second place, reported the California Department of Food and Agriculture in its latest issue of California Agricultural Exports.
With sales of $1.49 billion wine ranked second, dairy third at $1.41 billion, and walnuts fourth at $1.33 billion.
Dairy holds its own
Even though dairy product sales fell from second to third, that ranking within the Golden State needs some additional perspective. California accounted for 31.8 percent total U.S. dairy exports in this category. While that is a big number, it pales in comparison to almonds, wine, and walnuts within the Golden State.
At 100 percent — that means that California accounted for the entire share of U.S. exports among almonds, walnuts, and, for that matter, pistachios exports. Pistachios happen to be California’s fifth-ranked agricultural export at $1.15 billion. Wine followed closely behind the triple-nut trio, accounting for 91 percent of U.S. exports in the category.
Cornucopia to the world
California is indeed the global breadbasket. An impressive 57 agricultural products were listed individually with total sales of $17.32 billion. Not included on the list in the “Total Other Products and Mixtures” category was an additional $2.7 billion in exports that alone would surpass the totals in many states.
Top dairy destinations
It stands to reason that America’s number one dairy customer also ranked as California’s top purchaser:
1. Mexico, 30 percent of dairy products
2. Canada, 12 percent
3. China and Hong Kong, 9 percent
4. Philippines, 5 percent
5. Japan, 5 percent