The US and China entered into a trade War earlier this year resulting in tariffs on goods produced by each country and so far the only winners in this trade war seem to be the governments.
The trade war between China and the US has had a significant impact on the agricultural sector of the US, while agricultural exports do not even rank in the top ten of US exports most seem to think that the strategy is an attack on President Trump’s voter base. Whatever the strategy it has had an effect on agriculture and more specifically pecans. However, it’s not just pecans from the US that have suffered, global pecan prices have been impacted, due largely to the fact that the US sets prices for the global pecan market. But how much of an effect has the trade war had. Currently if we look at prices from exactly one year ago we can see that pecan prices for Shelled Pecan were in the $6.20 range, fast forward to current day, and we see prices trending in the $5.80 range, a $0.40 cent per pound drop in overall prices. This of course is trending the same in the In-shell Pecan as well. With prices for In-shell Pecan at the $2.80 range this time last year, today the prices are trending in the $2.20 range. While demand for pecans continues to increase globally the prices do not. But the trade war is not completely to blame for this price drop. The pecan industry itself is partly to blame, while the industry has been making positive moves to better position itself as a stable and marketable commodity, it is still decades behind other tree nuts and specialty commodities with regards to marketing and industry organization. But that is slowly changing for the better. One notable recent step forward of course is the APC. The American Pecan Council has come together to act as the marketing and data collection arm of the industry in the US and also set standards. These activities should go a long way in helping increase demand for the pecans both domestically and globally. Another notable and even younger organization is the National Pecan Federation, formed less than 2 years ago the National Pecan Federation is meant to act where the American Pecan Council is prohibited by law. Lobbying, the American Pecan Council is prohibited by law to use any funds to lobby on behalf of pecans, and that is where the National Pecan Federation will step in. The National Pecan Federation was formed specifically for the purpose of taking the interest of the pecan industry to congress, and thereby giving the pecan industry a seat at the table where federal monies are being handed out, or trade decisions are being made, to ensure that the pecan industry’s interest are represented. With the support from every grower organization across the US during inception, pecan growers are generally excited to see the work and more importantly results from the National Pecan Federation representing their interest in Washington.