But because of Russia’s embargo on importing fruits and vegetables from the U.S. and many European countries, the container will be turned around and sent to another country, reported Mike Sandhu, Crown Nut president.
The Russian move, announced Wednesday, restricts its agricultural imports from countries that have imposed economic sanctions in response to Russia’s support for separatist armed forces in Eastern Ukraine.
Elimination of the Russian market for Crown and other California shippers of almonds will have an impact on the local operation, but “just a little bit,” Sandhu said.
“We sell less than a million dollars’ worth of nuts to Russia, and we have customers all over the world — especially India, China and Europe,” he said. “We will have homes for our shipments.”
Sandhu said the Russian action could, however, impact the worldwide market for almonds.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens,” he said.
Crown Nut Co.’s processing plant on Chrisman Road south of town is a busy place right now, as this year’s almond harvest is a month earlier than normal, and harvesting is now in full swing.
The Tracy firm ships an average of a container-load of almonds a day, Sandhu said last year. The firm also is moving into the walnut market.
California produces 82 percent of the world’s almond crop and exports 70 percent of its crop, making it — at $2.5 billion — the state’s largest agricultural export.
In San Joaquin County, almonds generated $323 million in gross revenue in 2012, the latest year for which figures are available. That total is expected to be much larger in the 2013 annual county ag report, due soon. A number of newly planted almond orchards continue coming into production, and many of those new plantings are in the Tracy area. The drought, however, will have an impact on slowing the growth of almond production here.
Walnuts, including those from a number of Tracy orchards, accounted for $457 million in gross revenue in the county in 2012.
• Contact Sam Matthews at 830-4234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.