The latest pecan report data shows the 2021 crop year of pecan imports from Mexico dropped 8.54% from the prior season’s final. 2021 crop year final as reported by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s Specialty Crop Program sourced from the Homeland Security Customs Border Protection reported 232,105,000 pounds of pecans for the final 2021 crop year.
The prior year showed 253.7 million pounds which was also down from the prior year. The pecan imports have been trending downward since the onset of the trade tariffs on pecans grown in the US when entering China.
Chinese buyers can still import Mexican and South African pecans at a much lower cost but the US is still the largest grower of the larger pecan varieties that Chinese consumers prefer. This year has seen increased interest from China in the early markets as supplies of large in-shell pecans are scarce.
The US is still by far the largest consumer of pecans globally consuming 78% of last seasons crop. Since the exposure of the pecan imports getting a free ride on American growers marketing dollars, growers set out to assess imports as well. The APPB was formed a few short years ago and began collecting assessments on pecan imports into the US.
Since that time pecan imports have slowly decreased back to 2017 levels. The idea is to capture more marketing dollars for pecans, but as the free market does, it tends to find ways to adjust.
Pecan prices are holding strong in the early markets this year as supplies struggle to keep pace. Growers in the east and west have been planting but not fast enough. Domestic consumption in the US continues to increase, the market had a slight pull back last year but is still on the rise.
With imports now being assessed marketing and research dollars are increasing again. As the boards work to spread the pecan gospel growers are tasked with increasing the supply capacity.