U.S. Almond Exports and Retaliatory Trade Tariffs

Abraham Ajibade, Sayed Saghaian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The U.S. is the top producer, exporter, and consumer of tree nuts in the world. Tree nuts are a significant part of U.S. agricultural exports to the world. In 2019, the U.S. exported about USD 9.1 billion worth of tree nuts, just behind soybean exports at USD 18.7 billion. Tree nuts, such as almonds and pistachios, are mostly produced in the state of California. California produces 100% of U.S. commercial almonds. Globally, almonds are the leading U.S. tree nut export in both value and volume. Almonds are shipped to over 90 countries annually. This study aimed to investigate factors affecting the export demand function for U.S. almonds in major destination countries and evaluate the impact of the retaliatory trade tariffs policy by some of the importing countries on the U.S. almond exports. The currently available literature does not fully address these issues. We identified the top five almond export destinations, which were in Europe and Asia, namely, China/Hong Kong, Germany, India, Japan, and Spain, which account for more than 50% of U.S. almond imports. We used a double-log export demand equation that is well referenced in the literature and economic theory to identify the significant explanatory variables affecting the U.S. almonds export demand function. We also tried to estimate the impact of retaliatory tariffs on almond exports imposed by the major importing countries. Our results showed that U.S. almond and pistachio prices, real exchange rates, and gross domestic products of importing countries were significant factors that affected U.S. almond exports. The results showed that the imposed retaliatory tariffs had no negative effect on U.S. almond exports. This could have been because the study ended in 2019 and did not involve enough data to fully evaluate the impact of the retaliatory trade tariffs policy. U.S. almond exports have market concentration and strong market power in international markets. The efforts toward more sustainable production of almonds to solidify an already established market share in the world almond markets and against substitutes, such as pistachios, seem to be a sound strategy and focus of the U.S. almond agribusinesses and exporters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6409
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank the editors and the reviewers of Sustainability for all their efforts, especially Academic Editor: Aaron K. Hoshide. Sayed Saghaian acknowledges the support from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch project No. KY004052, under accession number 1012994.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • almond nuts
  • export demand
  • retaliatory tariff policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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