Importing Honey To USA, 7 Benefits

Importing Honey To USA, 7 Benefits

7 Benefits of Importing Honey to USA

Honey is one of the most popular natural sweeteners in the world, and the United States is one of the largest consumers of honey. According to the National Honey Board, Americans consumed about 596 million pounds of honey in 2020, but only produced about 157 million pounds. This means that the U.S. relies heavily on honey imports to meet its domestic demand.

But why import honey to the USA? What are the benefits of importing this delicious product from other countries? Here are some of the reasons why importing honey can be a good idea for both consumers and businesses.

1. Importing honey can provide more variety and quality.

Honey is not a uniform product. It comes in different colors, flavors, textures, and nutritional profiles depending on the floral source, climate, and processing methods of the honey. By importing honey from different regions and countries, consumers can enjoy a wider range of honey varieties and qualities that may not be available locally. For example, some of the most sought-after types of honey in the world include manuka honey from New Zealand, acacia honey from Europe, sidr honey from Yemen, and tupelo honey from Florida.

2. Importing honey can lower the cost and increase the availability.

Honey production is affected by many factors, such as weather, bee health, pests, diseases, and environmental issues. These factors can cause fluctuations in the supply and price of honey in different areas. By importing honey from other countries, the U.S. can balance its domestic supply and demand, lower the cost for consumers, and increase the availability of honey throughout the year.

3. Importing honey can support the global beekeeping industry.

Bees are essential for pollinating many crops and plants that provide food, fiber, and medicine for humans and animals. However, bees are facing many threats, such as habitat loss, pesticides, parasites, and diseases. By importing honey from other countries, the U.S. can support the global beekeeping industry, which helps to maintain healthy bee populations and protect biodiversity.

4. Importing honey can create trade opportunities and foster relationships.

Honey is a valuable commodity that can create trade opportunities and foster relationships between countries. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. imported about 445 million pounds of honey worth $568 million in 2020. The top five sources of U.S. honey imports were India, Vietnam, Brazil, Argentina, and Canada. By importing honey from these and other countries, the U.S. can establish and strengthen its economic ties and diplomatic relations with its trading partners.

5. Importing honey can promote cultural exchange and awareness.

Honey is not only a food product but also a cultural symbol that reflects the history, traditions, beliefs, and values of different people and places. By importing honey from other countries, consumers can learn more about the diverse cultures and customs of the world through their taste buds. For example, some cultures use honey as a medicine, a ritual offering, a gift, or a symbol of love.

6. Importing honey can encourage innovation and improvement.

Honey is a versatile product that can be used for various purposes besides sweetening food and beverages. It can also be used as an ingredient in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and other industries. By importing honey from other countries, businesses can access new ideas and technologies that can help them innovate and improve their products and services.

7. Importing honey can contribute to social and environmental causes.

Honey is not only a source of income but also a source of impact for many beekeepers and communities around the world. By importing honey from other countries, consumers and businesses can support social and environmental causes that align with their values and goals. For example, some honey producers practice organic, fair trade, or sustainable beekeeping methods that protect the environment and benefit the workers and their families.

The Rise of Honey Imports in the US

The United States is one of the largest consumers of honey in the world, but its domestic production cannot keep up with the growing demand. According to the USDA, U.S. imports of honey have surged by 73 percent in the last 10 years, reaching a near-record 433 million pounds in 2020. While domestic honey production has remained stable at around 156 million pounds per year, American consumers’ taste for honey and honey-sweetened products has grown. Imports now comprise a majority of total U.S. honey supplies. In 2020, imports accounted for 70 percent of total honey available for use in the United States, up from 54 percent in 2010 .

The Main Sources of Imported Honey

The global honey market is highly competitive and diverse, with many countries producing and exporting natural honey to the world. In 2021, the leading producers of natural honey worldwide were China, Turkey, Argentina, India and Brazil, accounting for about 50 percent of the global production volume . However, not all of these countries are the main suppliers of imported honey to the U.S. market. According to World’s Top Exports, the top 15 countries that exported natural honey to the U.S. in 2021 were:

  1. Argentina: US$153.3 million (up 59% from 2020)
  2. India: $123.7 million (up 99%)
  3. Brazil: $120.9 million (up 66.5%)
  4. Vietnam: $98.7 million (up 46%)
  5. New Zealand: $62.7 million (up 38.3%)
  6. Mexico: $16.2 million (up 69.3%)
  7. Uruguay: $14.1 million (up 80.8%)
  8. Canada: $14 million (down -3.5%)
  9. Ukraine: $13 million (down -28%)
  10. Taiwan: $8 million (up 33%)
  11. Italy: $6 million (down -18%)
  12. Spain: $5 million (down -25%)
  13. Thailand: $4 million (down -20%)
  14. Germany: $3 million (down -40%)
  15. Australia: $2 million (down -33%)

Combined, these top 15 suppliers represented 97 percent of all imports in 2021 .

The Challenges and Opportunities of Honey Imports

The growing volume of imports in the U.S. honey market has not been without controversy. In April 2021, U.S. producers filed anti-dumping petitions with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against several top supplying countries, alleging that they sold raw honey in the U.S. at less than fair value and caused material injury to the U.S. honey industry . The preliminary ruling found reasonable indication that imports of raw honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, Ukraine, and Vietnam were subject to dumping and imposed preliminary anti-dumping duties ranging from 9 percent to over 200 percent on these countries . The Department of Commerce will issue a report containing its final anti-dumping duty determinations on honey imports later this year.

On the other hand, honey imports also offer opportunities for both consumers and businesses in the U.S. Honey imports provide a variety of flavors, colors and qualities of honey that may not be available domestically, as well as lower prices and higher availability . Honey imports also create opportunities for trade and cooperation between countries, as well as for innovation and development in the honey industry . For example, some U.S. companies have partnered with foreign beekeepers to source organic honey that meets high standards of quality and sustainability .

Honey is a valuable and versatile product that has many benefits for human health and well-being . The U.S. is a major consumer and importer of honey in the world, but its domestic production cannot satisfy its growing demand . The U.S. relies on imports from many countries to supply its honey market, but also faces challenges such as dumping allegations and trade disputes . Honey imports also offer opportunities for diversity, affordability and innovation in the honey industry . The future of honey imports in the U.S. will depend on how these challenges and opportunities are balanced and addressed by all stakeholders involved.


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