Pecan exports from the US could finish last season down for the year as industry waits for final data from the month of August to be released. The final numbers for last pecan season are expected to be released any day now. The pecan season begins in September and culminates each year with the end of August being the end of the pecan season.
Pecan growers across the south have entered harvest on early pecan varieties and will soon begin harvesting all varieties. Market offerings are still slow however, pecans are benign harvested and shipped daily.
The retail markets here in the US are always eager to get fresh crop on the shelves, however the shelling industry has been placing downward pressure on farm prices, claiming to be holding large inventories coming into this year’s harvest.
The pecan inventory numbers being reported are something of a debate in the industry as the math doesn’t add up when comparing shipments to receipts, the inventory according to the math should be 60 million pounds less, or either pecan receipts should be higher, or shipments should be lower, either way the unexplained 60 million extra pounds has landed as handler inventory according to the July report.
Pecan exports may finish the year down. Currently as of the end of July, pecan exports are reported at just over 90 million pounds for the season (41,000 mt) with only August left to report. This is nearly 13 million pounds behind last season in July when the US had shipped just over 103 million pounds (46,720 mt). This represents a decrease of 14% for the season as of July.
The August report, when released, could bring the US into positive territory for the year but most expect to finish the season at a decrease in exports. Asia, is a bright spot in the data as currently Asia is the only export market to show growth over last year. With the onset of the trade war the numbers could only go up after the initial halt of shipments to China.
With the phase one trade deal in place, China has been buying more pecans from the US, utilizing the trade deal to decrease tariffs on US imports. While the numbers are still quite dismal at only 27 million pounds, it is an improvement of 6 million pounds over last year at the same time.
The American Pecan Council is expected to release the August report any day now, and will show us the full picture for the 2019-20 pecan season.