The latest report will be out in the next few days, but the latest report shows demand for pecans continuing to push higher even in the face of a pandemic and the loss of the industries single largest foreign market, which is also making a slow comeback.
The pecan industry in the US has been on rocky ground for the past year or two with supply taking a huge hit when hurricane Micheal devastated the Georgia pecan crop, the largest in the world.
Luckily for consumers the industry has spread pecan production across the southern US and was able to absorb the massive loss to production in Georgia, with areas like New Mexico, West Texas and Arizona harvesting an increasingly large crop over the past few years. Now the Georgia crop has recovered and the industry is expecting to harvest its largest crop ever this year.
Supply may have been on rocky ground over the last few years, but its almost insignificant when compared to the demand side of the pecan equation. Growers have spent the last decade building the market in China and increasing demand year over year in China for more than 10 years. Nearly all the demand from China came to a screeching halt when the trade war began.
Assumed to be aimed at conservative voter base for President Donald Trump, American farmers took a major loss when China implemented the increased tariffs on many American farm products. With in the span of a few short months, tariffs on American Pecans increased from 7% to 47% making the cost unreasonable to most consumers.
Loss of demand from China has hit US growers hard, but with marketing efforts ongoing here in the US and other countries, the industry has been able to weather the storm with the help of the marketing efforts of the American Pecan Council.
The latest Pecan Position Report shows pecan shipments up 55.3% over the same month last year (September Position Report) Pecan shipments are up 17.2 million pounds over last September indicating a good start to the season which begins in September and ends each year in August.
The commitments to ship is also showing positive signs. While shelled pecan commitments are down slightly in-shell pecan commitments are up enough to push the overall commitments into positive territory, up 3.2% over last month.
With the industry weathering the pandemic quite well, and the Phase One trade deal allowing for a reduction in tariffs on American Pecans entering China, this season’s demand could push to new heights.