2018 Pecan Market in Review

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The 2018 pecan marketing season has been an exciting season to say the least. The US pecan growers, shellers, and accumulators came together to form a new marketing and data gathering organization known formally as the American Pecan Council. The US entered into a trade war with China, one of the largest importers of pecans, adding an additional %15 tariff to US pecans; and Mexican pecan nuts may now be in jeopardy of being taxed as they enter into the US. With all that said the demand for pecans has remained steady around the globe and prices have also remained strong. Shelled pecans (SPCN) opened the year at $6.17 and are currently trading at $6.15 (as of June 7, 2018) down a mere $0.02 for the year. In-shell pecans have dipped a little more opening 2018 at $2.76 (NPCN) falling $0.18 to $2.58. However, with the US / China trade war continuing on, some pecan analyst predict that the fall for In-shell pecans prices could be more severe, if negotiations are not reached. On the bright side, China officials have said US agricultural products will be purchased in much greater quantities in order to help offset the trade deficit, which likely will affect US Pecans in a positive manner, assuming a deal is reached. South African pecan harvest is currently underway, and exporters say prices are lower than expected from Chinese buyers. Another issue in South Africa is the threat of land confiscation from white farmers, which is almost all pecan farmers in South Africa. Certain political parties in South Africa have threatened to take land from white farmers without compensation as part of their campaign for election attempting to appeal to certain voters. While most farmers we’ve spoken with see it as only “campaign promises”, some say it could be a real concern. Australia, Chile and Argentina have also begun harvesting and have reported “good crops”. So far the 2018 pecan prices have remained relatively steady, but with the US / China trade war lingering, both pecan buyers and pecan suppliers will be watching pecan prices very closely.