The global pecan market has been thriving over the past months yet first handlers are taking a more conservative position causing in-shell pecan prices to slide lower as inventories swell to new heights with the new crop ripening in the trees, for what is expected to be a bumper crop across the southern US.
American pecan growers have seen demand for pecans increase this year as pecan shipments from first handlers have been reported at just shy of 316 million pounds* for the current season. This is a 28 million pound increase over the same time last season, representing a 10% over last year. The increase comes as welcome news to the pecan industry who has been working to improve awareness and ultimately demand of American pecans.
The growth has come solely from the domestic market. The American Pecan Council set out to improve domestic consumption that had remained stagnant for decades and had even been reported in decline.
The “Original SuperNut” campaign, among others, has sought to showcase the nutritional benefits of consuming pecans year round, and raise awareness of the nut as a snacking nut as well as an ingredient.
The export markets for pecans have slowed this year however, China is expected to purchase large quantities of pecans among other tree nuts as part of the phase one trade agreement reached between China and the US earlier in the year. While sales to China have been up this year the numbers still do not reflect any big buying activities to date.
While pecan shipments have outpaced last year, and commitments to ship in the future are increased as well, pecan handlers are taking a more conservative position in the market this year with less inventory on hand than last year. Slower purchases started earlier in the season as the global pandemic shuttered economies around the globe first handlers slowed buying activities and continue to remain cautious. As inventories increase, growers find themselves holding more of the pecan inventory than in past years.
For now the demand for pecans continues strong with pecan shipments up 10%, and commitments to ship up 29.5% over last season as of the June 2020 Industry Position Report.
While demand continues strong pecan purchases from growers have slumped. The last couple of months have seen some increase in purchases as in-shell pecan prices on the farm have fallen nearly $0.20 per pound.
*C2i – converted to in-shell using the industry standard 50% kernel conversion ratio.