TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Strong demand from China has contributed to a rise in pecan production in Arizona.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that the state’s pecan production rose 13 percent from 2012 to 2013.

The state had estimated 22.5 million utilized pounds in 2013.

The value totaled $42.8 million in 2013, up 34 percent from 2012.

Arizona is the nation’s fourth-largest pecan producer, with about 7 percent of the market share in 2011.

The company that’s Arizona’s biggest pecan producer says demand has been driven by exports to China that gained momentum about eight years ago, and by publicity about tree nuts as a healthy food choice.

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