Honey Supply Drops

Demand for Honey Increases as Supplies Drop

By Pan Demetrakakes, Senior Editor

Americans’ appetite for honey is increasing even as supplies are decreasing, according to the latest USDA figures.

Domestic honey consumption reached a record high last year of 618 million pounds, up 8% from 2020. Meanwhile, last year’s domestic production was 126 million pounds, the lowest since 1991. Prices paid to honey producers averaged $2.54 a pound, a record high.

Factors in the domestic shortage include higher-than-normal temperatures that reduced the floral cover needed to produce honey, and diversion by commercial beekeepers of their colonies away from honey production to meet demand by almond growers and others for pollination services.

Not surprisingly, imports have surged to meet demand. Imports have made up a majority of U.S. honey consumption since 2005 and made up 74% of all U.S. consumption last year. Supplies may be further constricted by the situation in Ukraine, which before Russia’s invasion was the world’s fifth-ranking exporter of honey.

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