In 2021, China produced almost 500,000 tons of natural honey, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Even though its natural properties are being contested by several national and intranational watchdogs scanning for syrup additives to the People's Republic's bee-based commodity, the amount of honey produced still easily outranks every other country.
As our chart shows, Turkey, Iran and Argentina place second, third and fourth, respectively, with neither country crossing the 100,000-ton threshold. The United States was the ninth-largest honey producer with 57,000 tons. The Indian honey industry, which comes sixth in this top 8 ranking with around 66,000 tons of honey produced in 2021, has been especially vocal about China allegedly cutting its honey with sugar syrup, which is easier to produce and cheaper.
While the Americas and Europe stood on fairly even ground with Asian countries when it came to the global share in honey production in the early 1990s, the landscape has shifted dramatically over the last decades. In 2001, Asia was responsible for 44 percent of all produced honey worldwide. By 2021, Asian countries like China and India produced about half of the global yield of natural honey.