The INC held a virtual conference this year due to the travel restrictions and safety precautions surrounding the current covid-19 pandemic. The meeting was held online last week where participants were able to join the virtual conference.
The INC is the global organization for dried fruits and nuts and allows industry participants to hear updates from colleagues, collaborate with other industry participants and make some new friends and business contacts.
This year’s pecan updates were hosted by Mr. Jeffrey Sanfilippo of John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc. Mr. Sanfilippo hosted Mr. Andreas Snyman of GWK South Africa, Mr. Ricardo Martinez of Pecaninis Mexico, and Mr. Andrew Waddell of Stahmans Australia. The well rounded panel gave pecan crop updates from their respective regions and touched on current issues facing each region.
The pecan crop is expected to increase slightly however this is expected to be an off year in the production swings cycles for both the USA and Mexico, the two largest production areas. Sales of pecans have fared well throughout the pandemic however channels such as food service have been disrupted due to restaurant shutdowns. Increases in at home use of pecans has been seen as people are staying at home and cooking more meals at home.
Exports from the US have increased over the last year and domestic consumption was reported as strong as well. Mexico has reported some hail damage in Sonora that will affect crop production in that region. Sufficient water continues to be an issue in the northern states of Mexico where 90% of pecan production occurs.
The US is expected to have a smaller crop this year as well with last season seeing a bumper crop. Late freezes in the west have cause some damage but it is still too early in the season to determine the overall effects on the crop.
Plantings in South Africa continue strong however they do seem to have slowed in the past few years as in-shell prices have fallen. Based on tree counts from local nurseries, Mr. Snyman estimated growers in South Africa planted around 4,500+ hectares (11,120 acres) last year 2020 down from the past 3 years.
Demand for pecans continues strong around the globe and marketing efforts continue to increase. All in all the future for pecans looks very bright.