U.S. honey production has dropped by 1.4 percent per year during the past three decades, while honey imports have grown by 7.6 percent every year, so imports have been filling the domestic supply deficit. Imports have exceeded domestic honey production since 2005 and accounted for 74 percent of U.S. honey supplies in 2021.
The top three foreign suppliers are India, Vietnam, and Argentina, and together they supply more than 71 percent of the total imports. Honey imports grew as domestic consumption of honey and honey-sweetened products increased. The expansion reached an all-time high last year when domestic production was at its lowest volume since 1991.
During 2021, production in all three of the major honey-producing states, including North Dakota, South Dakota and California, were 25 percent below 1991 levels, while production in the rest of the U.S. declined by almost half during the same period. Shrinking market production was mainly due to decreased honey production per colony.