The trade dispute between China and the US that began a little over a year ago has had significant effects on the American Pecan industry, pushing American Pecans largest export customer to purchase pecans from Mexico.
The trade war between the US and China has ultimately resulted in 47% tariff on American grown pecans that are entering China, while Mexico and South Africa continue to benefit from a 7% tariff on pecans exported from their countries. It is important to note that the 7% tariff was a result of the work of the US Pecan Growers council to lower the tariff on pecans entering China. However when the trade war began between China and the US the lower 7% tariff stayed in effect for the rest of the pecan producing countries. An article published by the Produce Report covered the recent China International Tree Nut Conference held on August 5-7 in Zhengzhou, Henan Province in China, reported an increase of more than 3,000% of Mexican Pecans imported into China over the last season. Chinese pecan buyers have shifted purchasing habits to Mexican pecans that have a 7% tariff while American pecans have a 47% tariff. The US Pecan Growers Council has been working in the Chinese market for almost a decade resulting in increased prices for American Pecans across the board, however that was quickly undone with the onset of the trade war. Mexican pecan production has continued to increase over the years while demand for pecans has continued to increase in the US, Mexico and China over the last decade. South Africa is still exporting the majority of its pecan crop to China while small portions are sold into local markets as well as into the US. Since the onset of the trade war, pecan prices in Mexico have continued to inch higher. This year pecan prices in Mexico are expected to be higher than in the US, with early offers on Oversize pecans around 2.80 in Mexico, while in the US early offers are fewer and closer to 2.30 for high quality Oversize, representing a 0.50 difference per in-shell pound on the farm.