In recent years the US Pecan Growers Council has been actively marketing US Pecans around the globe; several of the markets identified to have large growth potential are China, India, Turkey, South Korea, and Vietnam. While the organization has made progress in all these markets over the years the Indian market is one that many believe could have the biggest impact to pecan exports behind China.
China has come onto the scene in the past years as a major buyer of US pecans and has been increasing imports of US Pecans for years with no signs of slowing down in the foreseeable future. The major driver of this newly found appetite for pecans comes mainly from China’s growing middle class. China has a population 1.379 billion people, but the important number is the size of the middle class. According to Reuters by 2020, 550 million Chinese residents will be considered middle class.
Which brings us to India. India also has a large population of around 1.342 billion people, and according to a report from Forbes will have a middle-class population of 475 million people by 2030. The important part is the growth rate of India’s middle class, because by 2030 India will be adding more citizens to the global middle class than China. Currently, however India is not a large importer of US pecans. This is due largely in part to the higher tariffs placed on pecans than other tree nuts entering the country. But there is hope, for several years the US Pecan Industry has requested assistance from the government in correcting these unfair tariffs and it seems they have made some progress. A recent article in Pecan South magazine reported that Senator Ted Cruz is heading an effort to lower that tariff, and currently has the support of six other senators from the pecan belt.