US Pecan growers deliver fewer pecans than last year as prices on the farm continue to trend lower than last year. This season marks the second year that the pecan industry has been able to collect data and report on a monthly basis.
While some of the data is skewed in favor of the reporting parties from time to time, the constant monthly reporting continues to allow industry to sniff out bogus data and keep the industry participants informed as to how the year is shaping up for both supply and demand of pecans.
The pecan shipments have continued to outpace last year and are expected to finish the year around 8-10% higher than last year. Demand for pecans has lagged over the years in the domestic market, however the domestic market is the source of growth for the pecan industry.
While export shipments of pecans are down for the year, the domestic market is finding growth, with shipments currently outpacing last year by roughly 24 million pounds (Sept-July). Pecan shipments represent an increase in demand of 7.8% when compared to last season.
While the demand for pecans has increased, prices on the farm have dropped, with the Chinese export market still in turmoil from the trade war, shipments to China have been minimal. Exports to China have increased over last year, but are still quite low when compared to pre-trade war levels.
The price drop has come largely because of lack of competition for the in-shell market. Chinese buyers import most of their pecans in-shell, which allowed for a much more competitive in-shell market. Shelled pecan prices are holding steady as demand has been quite robust in the domestic market. Export markets such as the EU have also imported less American pecans, as economies have slowed around the globe with the covid-19 outbreak.
As the new pecan crop begins harvest this week, growers still holding pecans in storage will be watching prices closely. Shellers are reporting a surplus of pecans in cold storage, however the numbers seem to be inflated, as the monthly reports show that inventories should be around 60 million pounds lower than actually reported, unless shipments and receipts are under and over reported.