Pecan stocks in the US have dropped from the last months record highs of 308+/- million pounds; in March 2013 the US was carrying pecan stocks of just under 316 +/- million pounds. April 2019 pecan stocks show 275,642,000 pounds of pecans in cold storage which is exactly the same as last year’s April figures. The number stack up a little differently this year with less in-shell pecans in cold storage and more shelled pecans in storage waiting to be delivered. This trend is very encouraging for the industry, showing a steady increase in demand. However this year may prove to be challenging for the pecan industry, with a shorter supply availability due to inclement weather and increasing demand. Some pecan suppliers are concerned that the cold storage stocks may not be enough to supply the market if demand continues at this pace.
Overall for the first quarter, pecan cold storage holdings are up for an average of 2.61% when compared to (Q1) first quarter 2018. Industry growth is expected to pace at an average of 6% per year for the immediate future. While the last months cold storage was right in line with this figure the overall first quarter pecan cold storage holdings are at only 2.61% growth. Even more interesting is how the numbers are stacking up. The shelled pecan cold holdings have been growing at a much more aggressive pace with the (Q1) first quarter of 2019 up just shy of 30% from Q1 of 2018, and this is not an anomaly, this has been the case for almost 2 years (see chart below). The significance of this is that this means the demand is continuing to grow and purchaser optimism is strong. Pecans are only shelled when they are entering the supply chain headed toward consumption, otherwise the pecans store better in the shell.
While this is good news for the pecan industry, the concerning numbers are the in-shell holdings. For the same period (Q1-2019) in-shell holdings dropped a little over 10%. This is largely due to the huge crop losses in Georgia from the hurricane that hit a few days before harvest. For now the numbers look very encouraging for the demand side of the pecan market, we will continue to monitor the US pecan holdings as the season progresses.
*C2i – Converted to in-shell