World honey crops have been seriously affected in 2007, resulting in a worldwide shortage that is driving up the price of raw honey. Coupled with rising consumer demand worldwide, the higher cost of raw honey is expected to start affecting the retail prices of some honeys for UK consumers from mid November.
The worldwide honey shortage can be attributed to two primary factors; extremely poor crops across major producing regions including Eastern Europe, Australia and the USA, and a significant increase in consumer demand in developing economies including China and India.
UK Honey Association Chairman Thomas Heck said:
“An unfortunate combination of a long, dry summer in Eastern Europe, prolonged drought in Australia, and the phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in the USA has resulted in an extremely difficult year for honey crops, some reduced by as much as 75 per cent.
This comes at a time when developing countries such as China and India are eating more honey than ever before, leaving less for export to cover the shortfalls from other regions.
While importers are doing everything they can to ensure that UK honey demand is being met, the significant increase in raw honey costs will unfortunately affect the cost of some retail products purchased by consumers,” he said.
For more information please contact Victoria Pilkington or Natalie Tesoriero on 020 7255 1100
Major factors affecting honey production worldwide:
- The long, dry summer in Eastern Europe has reduced the Hungarian polyflora crop to only 25% of normal; Bulgaria and Romania are similarly affected. The Greek and Turkish crops this year were only 50% of normal.
- Prolonged drought in Australia has seriously reduced honey production and increased raw costs by 35% in the last 12 months.
- Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has reduced the commercial bee population in the USA by 60%.The USA is having to import honey from South America and China to make up the shortfall.
- High demand for new crop Argentine honey is forcing raw honey prices up. There is still a shortage of good quality honey from China and, as the Chinese and Indian economies grow, so is their domestic honey consumption, leaving less honey available for export.
- Honey exports from Brazil to the EC are still suspended whilst improved residue monitoring programmes are implemented. Exports of honey from Vietnam to the EC have recently been suspended for the same reason.
- Even the UK honey crop has suffered this year. After a very promising warm April, the wet summer has resulted in a poor crop, with borage honey production particularly affected. This is at a time when consumer demand for English honey is increasing.