The American pecan industry has seen a meteoric rise in pecan export values over the last 20 years. Growers across the southern United States have seen their crop go from being sold at local stores and road side stands in the southern states, to being demanded all over the world and shipped to nearly every country on the planet.
Around 2006 growers decided to pool resources and find new markets for their pecans. Growers soon found success in China and other markets. China quickly became the number one export market for pecans and exports soared to new heights year afer year.
Pecan exports peaked in 2017 after China announce an increase in tariffs on pecans coming from the US. In-shell pecan exports values dropped by more than 32% from 2017-2018 and again from 2018 to 2018 by just over 29%.
As the trade war continued on and still continues today, pecan export values saw large decreases along with the farmgate prices many of us growers had come to expect. But things are turning around and headed back into positive territory.
Since the “phase one” trade deal was agreed upon between China and the US, pecan exports have slowly been recovering to China. In-shell pecan export values rose slightly from 2019 to 2020 by just under 3% indicating a turn around in in-shell exports.
While overall export values are still lower from 2019 to 2020, in-shell pecan export values have risen. A decrease in shelled pecan export values has caused the overall numbers to drop into the negative territory but with 3 years of nearly steady exports of shelled pecans these numbers are expected to bounce back this year as demand continues to rise and prices inch upward.