Abundant U.S. honey supplies in 2019 lead to a decline in honey prices

This bar chart shows U.S. honey supplies from 2006-2019 and a line shows prices for those years.

U.S. honey production has remained relatively stable over the past 10 years, averaging about 157 million pounds per year, even as producers have grappled with significant overwinter colony losses and variable honey prices. Forage-rich North Dakota leads the nation in honey production, and together with Montana and South Dakota, these Northern Plains States produced nearly half of all U.S. honey in 2019. While the volume of honey produced domestically has been relatively steady, U.S. consumption of honey and honey-sweetened products has steadily grown since the 1980s. To supplement domestic production and meet rising demand, a growing volume of honey has been imported. Beginning in 2006, imported honey has accounted for most of the U.S. supplies, reaching 416 million pounds and nearly 70 percent of total supplies for 2019. Imports combined with beginning stocks and production made about 614 million pounds of honey available in 2019—the third highest volume on record. Abundant supplies contributed to lower prices received by producers, with prices decreasing by 24 cents per pound for a year-to-year decline of 11 percent. Lower honey prices in 2019 gave rise to a $30 million (9 percent) decline in revenue received by U.S. beekeepers from honey production. Reduced returns from honey production were exacerbated by a more than $9 million reduction in net income derived from the provision of pollination services and sales of bee products (e.g. queens, beeswax). This chart is drawn from the Economic Research Service’s June 2020 Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook.

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