The world financial crisis has hit the almond industry. After several seasons of robust sales increases, the California almond juggernaut has slowed significantly.

Mike Kelley, Central California Almond Growers Association president, says Nonpareil prices are about $1.40 per pound right not.

“Not all that bad, but California varieties are off quite a bit…70 cents per pound,” he said. Europe is a prime market for the California varieties. With the current exchange rate and the fiscal crisis, sales have dropped off to Europe.

“However, I have heard optimistic reports that Europe may start buying again,” added Kelley.

The almond hull market has is also taking a hit. Kelley says the spot market is moved down to $110 per ton from about $130 60 days ago. The fiscal crisis in the dairy industry is one reason for that.