After already struggling with drought, California farmers have lost big overseas sales numbers because of a serious shortage of shipping containers brought on by COVID-19. A study from the University of California-Davis says the state’s farm belt lost $2.1 billion in exports during a five-month stretch this year because of “containergeddon.” A University of Connecticut study says the supply chain mess tying up world commerce has caused California growers 17 percent of their export sales from May to September. California nut tree farmers lost big, with estimates at $520 million, followed by the wine industry at $250 million and rice growers losing $120 million. Industry experts tell the Sacramento Bee that some export sales are gone and not just delayed. The tree nut market is very seasonal, with big demand at Christmas time, which is now gone for good. The U.C.-Davis report says the losses this year are larger than the financial damage done during the 2018 U.S.-China trade war.
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