Mac nut producer sees net loss rise

Big Island-based ML Macadamia Orchards LP suffered a wider net loss in the third quarter over the same quarter last year due to lower nut production and effects from its purchase of another nut producer.

The state’s largest macadamia nut producer lost $308,000, or 4 cents a share, in the July-September period compared with a loss of $42,000, or 1 cent a share, in the same three months last year.

Much of the degraded financial results stemmed from a 14 percent decline in ML Macadamia’s third-quarter harvest, which totaled 5.4 million pounds of nuts. The company said drought conditions in its Kau orchards caused the drop.

Lower production translated to $4.1 million in nut sales in the quarter, down from $4.4 million a year earlier.

Revenue from work ML Macadamia performs for other orchard owners also declined in the quarter, falling 51 percent to $615,000 from $1.27 million.

The contract work was reduced largely because ML Macadamia acquired a company from which it previously derived farm service revenue.