As the pecan harvest season is drawing nearer to completion in South Africa, pecan growers and traders are both wondering what happened to the market as they watch offers and prices on a free fall.
No more than 3 weeks ago Chinese pecan buyers were watching prices in the South African pecan market hover around $7.65 / kg ($3.47 / LB) for Oversized pecans (GCE:OVS). However almost overnight traders backed off and pecan prices started a downward spiral. Being that China buys around 90% of the South African crop this of course had almost immediate and drastic effect on the South African pecan market. Since then pecan prices have continued to fall. Several pecan traders we spoke with in South Africa say, they are not even purchasing in this market, because they don’t know how low the prices will go. Some growers in South Africa said, “were not selling at these prices, the market will turn around, we just have too much dependency on China to buy our crop.” As of today, prices for Oversize pecans from South Africa delivered to China ports are $5.90 / kg ($2.67 / LB). These of course are not terrible prices; however the Chinese pecan buyers are not buying at these prices. Currently there are almost no offers because most Chinese buyers are afraid of purchasing and then the price continues downward. Most Chinese buyers we spoke with said they are not purchasing right now because they don’t know how low the prices will go and currently they have enough stock to last them. Chinese buyers, like all pecan buyers have become more price conscious and have over the years learned to watch the market better.