The current pandemic and resulting shutdown of economies around the globe, have slowed pecan exports for the year. Currently global pecan exports are down 12.3% compared to the same time last year. Total pecan exports to date are 85,230,691 lbs (38,659 MT), however when comparing to last year at the same time the US had exported 97,159,865 (44,070 MT) representing a decrease of 11,929,174 lbs (5,410 MT) or a 12.3% decrease.
While overall exports are down so far this year, there are bright spots in the numbers for the pecan industry. To date, consumption is in the US, in fact consumption in the US has risen enough to offset the export losses bringing the total pecan shipments into the positive territory for the year.
Exports to Asia are also up. When the trade war began in early 2018, pecan shipments to China halted and pecan prices fell sharply. The 2018-19 pecan season saw little to no buying activity from China. However with the phase one trade deal in place, pecan shipments to China have begun to pick up slightly.
When comparing this season to last season, pecan exports to Asia are up 32.7%, an increase of 6,538,501 lbs (2,965 MT) over last season. While the total pecan shipments to Asia are still dismal compared to pre-trade war shipments, pecan producers are hopeful that the Chinese buyers will resume trade with the US pecan growers to fulfill a portion of the trade agreement between China and the US.
Pecan exports to Europe are down 19.5% when compared to last year. Until recent months pecan exports to Europe had shown bullish signs however currently pecan exports to Europe are down 8,070,218 lbs (3,660MT) when compared to the same time last year. The drop in exports to Europe represents the largest portion of the loss in exports. Exports to most other regions are also down, however Europe makes up the largest portion of the loss.
With two months left in the season pecan exports are likely to be down for the year, but if domestic consumption continues as is, overall pecan consumption and shipments will still remain positive for the year.