Pecan imports into the US from Mexico may be on track to drop for the 2nd year in a row after decades of year over year growth. The American Pecan Council reports pecan imports by handlers companies registered with the APC however this does not represent the actual imports of pecans into the US. While American handlers report to the APC, other companies are not required to report pecans imported into the US.
For a more complete picture we need to look at border crossings as reported by the foreign agricultural service to get a complete picture of pecan imports. For example the APC data shows significantly less pecans imported from Mexico than what has been reported by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. When we look at available data from both the APC and the FAS we see a large difference in what is being reported. In the last 4 season there is a gap of 833 million pounds between what has been reported by APC and what has been reported by the FAS. It is important to note that we have left out pecan import data of “prepared pecan products HS Code 2008192500”. For the purposes of this article we are looking only at raw pecans that includes shelled and in-shell pecans.
Even as we look at both data sets we can see that pecan imports from Mexico have been declining over the past two season. While pecan imports have been on a historic run, rising year over year for over a decade, the last two seasons have seen pecan imports drop.
From the 2018-19 to the 2019-20 pecan season, pecan imports from Mexico dropped by 7.6% year to year representing a decrease of just over 24 million pounds. While we don’t have the data for the final month in the season (August), we can see that pecan imports from Mexico are on schedule to decrease again. With current data we can see that imports are down by nearly 51 million pounds for the year. This will change as the data comes in for the month of August but will likely finish the season at a decrease from the prior year. This has not been seen in the US for many years.