It’s that time of year again for South African pecan growers, accumulators, sheller’s and the like. That time of year where all the hard work leading up to this point pays off; and for South African pecan growers it is paying off. The South African as well as the Australian pecan harvest comes during the months of May through July. This is the exact opposite of the US and Mexico harvest which comes during the months of October through January. The advantage of the opposite season for the growers of South Africa is that by the time their harvest comes around the inventories of pecans around the world have all but diminished. The depleted pecan inventories leave buyers desperate for supply, especially Chinese buyers. The savvier Chinese buyers are buying the South African pecan crop earlier and earlier each year to ensure that their factories have enough inventory to supply the ever-growing demand for pecans in China. This year is no different. The harvest has only just begun and industry experts estimate that somewhere around 80% of the crop has already been contracted, and awaiting to be filled and shipped. Growers say this year’s crop looks good but there has been some concern that the nut size may be off. I will be bringing you more updates as the harvest unfolds over the next couple months.