Walnut Board Announces Blockbuster 2023 Crop

When the California Ag Statistics Service (CASS) released its estimate on the size of the 2023 walnut crop, the estimate of 790,000 tons was thought to be about in line with expectations. But the main driver of that estimate was an anticipated heavy crop on the state’s largest variety: Chandler. And since Chandler now represents more than 60% of the overall crop, a big Chandler crop has the potential to move the entire number significantly. That’s exactly what happened, as the California Walnut Board (CWB) reported on February 11 that the 2023 crop came in at nearly 822,000 tons. This is a new record for the state—and is well above the previous record crop of 783,000 tons in 2020. It’s also 10% higher than 2022’s 748,000 tons.

The CWB is pouring money into marketing efforts to build demand—and, very significantly, shipments in the U.S. domestic market are up some 30% year-to-date. The strong dollar, however, is suppressing demand growth in many key export markets. Despite this, exports are up more than 15% year to date.