The world is consuming more groundnuts and tree nuts than ever before due to the health benefits associated with these nuts. Peanuts are the most consumed groundnut while almond is the most consumed tree nut. Tree nuts include almonds, pistachios, brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, and cashews. North America is the largest producer of almonds, pistachios, and walnuts while the Middle East produces the most cashews and hazelnuts.
The Most Popular Nuts in the World
China is the largest producer of peanuts in the world accounting for 41% of the total output. India produces 14% while the United States and Nigeria each contribute 7%. China has been the dominant producer for the past decade with 70% of the products originating from Henan, Hebei, Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Shandong provinces. Peanuts are a crucial ingredient in Chinese cuisines, consequently making China the largest consumer of peanuts. About 90% of peanuts are consumed by China, India, Nigeria, the United States, and Indonesia. A large percentage of the nut is either roasted and consumed or converted into peanut butter.
Almonds are the most consumed tree nut in the world but its production is significantly below that of peanuts. During the period of 2017-2018, about 1.2 million metric ton of almonds were produced. Unlike peanuts, the production of almonds is graphically limited to North America, Europe, and Australia. The United States is the largest producer of almonds accounting for 81% of global production. California produces 99% of the almonds in the country and remains the only region where almonds are produced for commercial purpose in North America. Australia and Spain jointly account for 12% while Iran and Tunisia both produce less than one percent each. The United States is the largest consumer of almonds although it exports more than it consumes. Spain produces much less than it consumes and therefore imports a larger percentage of what it consumes from the United States. Germany, India, China, and Vietnam are also major consumers of almonds.
China and the United States are the two largest producers of walnuts. The United States accounts for 42% of global production while China accounts for 29%. Chile, Ukraine, and Iran are minor producers. China consumes half of the worldwide output of walnuts which is far above its production capacity. The country imports walnuts from the United States to meet domestic consumption. The United States is the second largest consumer followed by Iran, France, Japan, and Germany.
Trends in Nut Production and Consumption
The demand for nuts is ever increasing, and so is the production. This is because nuts are beneficial to human health and are an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and antioxidants. Nuts also help control the sugar level in the body. The demand for nuts outweighs the production which is leading high consuming countries to import from high producing countries. Although there is a significant increase in the production, there are also factors that hinder the production. These include global warming, unfavorable climate, and desertification.