Modesto-area nut growers waiting to hear on Japan quake impact

Central Valley almond and walnut growers were waiting to hear from business partners in Japan Thursday afternoon to determine the impact to California’s annual exports of $130 million and $52 million, respectively.

John Mundt, president of Hughson-based Alpine Pacific Nuts, said the company has a ship slated to arrive in Tokyo on Monday, and two ships prepared to travel to Japan from the Port of Oakland on Thursday. He said the crew of the ship en route is safe but it is too soon to tell if they will be able to arrive as scheduled.

He expects an update from his business partners in Japan on Monday.

Blue Diamond Almonds also has a carrier on its way to Japan, according to spokeswoman Susan Brauner.

She said the impact to experts will depend on the potential delay in delivery dictated by the extent of damage to Japan’s ports and roads.