Over the past 5 years beginning pecan stocks have continued to rise at a steady pace as more orchards come into production increasing the domestic supply capacity.
Pecan growers across the US have continued to plant new orchards as quickly as financially possible and we are now beginning to see more of the orchards finally come into commercial production.
The supply capacity has been struggle for growers to increase as most commercial pecan orchards take anywhere from 7-10 years to come into commercial production. Some more experienced growers have cut that time down to 6 years but that is not the average, more like the exception.
Even still many growers’ production capacity still hovers around the 900-1100 pounds per acre mark while others are averaging closer to 1900 pounds per acre. The difference is usually the experience of the grower and the input into the orchard.
As such it takes time for growers to increase global supply capacity in any meaningful way, but we are finally seeing an increase in the numbers. While supply is still significantly behind other crops like almonds which is producing around 2 billion pounds of almond meats in California, the US only supplies around 150 million pounds of pecan meats each year.
The supply capacity for pecans is still quite minimal compared to other tree nut crops in the US. Imports from Mexico have helped to bridge the gap, but imports from Mexico have been on the decline over the past 2 years as growers now assess pecan imports from Mexico.
The latest numbers from the USDA show beginning pecan stocks at 103 million pounds and imports at 137 million pounds for the 2020-21 pecan season preliminary numbers.
This year’s crop is expected to be short for the season, further adding to the supply struggles of growers.