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Does the Macadamia Nut Market Have a Message for the World?

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Touch the Soil News #295

First, a few words about Macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts are the seeds of the macadamia tree. To establish a Macadamia orchard is no simple task. A Macadamia tree does not start reaching full commercial production of seeds (nuts) until it is 12-15 years old. However, once it is producing it can give seeds for 100 years. Macadamia trees are fragile and susceptible to frost, blown over in high winds due to their shallow roots and susceptible to root diseases.

Now, have you noticed how high the price is for Macadamia nuts in the grocery store? Prices can range from $15 a pound upwards to over $25 a pound for organic. Recently, the demand for Macadamia nuts has been surging in Asia generally and China specifically.

Australia is the world’s largest producer of Macadamia nuts, 25 percent of which is exported to China. The key concept coming out of the Chinese demand for Macadamia nuts is that Chinese processors want to protect their supply by owning the agricultural assets (Macadamia orchards).

Raw Macadamia nuts in the shell. Chinese Macadamia nut processors and retailers do not trust building their companies around global trade and market as they are unstable.

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Macadamia nut farming is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dollars flowing to control and speculate on food. The largest arena of food speculation and control is in the realm of grains. The following video clip helps explain the world of commodity traders. Should the world rely on them for food?

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