It really is a global economy these days.  Prices on just about everything in this country are affected by what consumers need, want and buy in other countries around the world.

Gas prices in this country have soared because of demand in other countries, especially China.

Demand in China is also affecting prices on nuts.  The Chinese love nuts, especially pecans.  That’s one of the reasons why the price of pecans is soaring.  The Chinese also love walnuts, but when the price of walnuts went up they switched to pecans.  So if you like pecans – for snacking, for pie or whatever, you’re paying 22 percent more this year over last year and 57 percent more than two years ago.

Another reason for the price increase is drought in this country.  Growers in the south, especially Texas have been hard hit by severe drought to the extent that the pecan crop this year is less than half of the normal output.

Peanut growers have also been affected and if you like peanut butter, that’s why you’re paying more.  Wholesale prices for Peter Pan have gone up 20 percent.  Jif peanut butter is up 30 percent and Planters brand has increased 40 percent in just the past couple of weeks.

Peanuts are usually harvested in September and October and this year has been one of the worst harvests in history.  The peanuts used for peanut butter usually cost $450 a ton.  This year they’re going for $1200 a ton.  We’ll be paying for it in the grocery stores.