Honey prices again record high in 2010

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — Honey prices in 2010 were record high for the third consecutive year despite an increase in production of 20% from 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its annual Honey report.

The average price for all classes of honey sold through all channels was a record 160.3c a lb in 2010, up 9% from the previous record high of 147.3c in 2009, the U.S.D.A. said. The average price at retail was 305.4c a lb, up 8% from 283.7c in 2009, and at the cooperative and private level was 153.1c, also up 8% from 141.5c. The total value of honey produced in 2010 was $281,974,000, up 31% from $215,671,000 a year earlier.

Production of all types of honey totaled 175,904,000 lbs in 2010, up 20% from 146,416,000 lbs in 2009, the U.S.D.A. said. After increasing in 2008 for the first time since 2004, production in 2009 was the lowest in records going back more than 50 years before rebounding in 2010.

Stocks of honey held by producers on Dec. 15, 2010, totaled 45,307,000 lbs, up 21% from 37,516,000 lbs a year earlier.

The number of producing colonies rose 7% from 2,498,000 in 2009 to 2,684,000 in 2010, the U.S.D.A. said. Honey yield per colony averaged 65.5 lbs in 2010, up 12% from 58.6 lbs in 2009 but below the 69.9 lb average in 2008.

The six states of North Dakota, South Dakota, California, Florida, Minnesota and Montana accounted for 67% of the nation’s honey production in 2010, with top producing North Dakota producing 25% of the total.

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