The American Pecan Council has been monthly data for 34 months now and the figures show American growers are not keeping pace with growing demand.
The data released by the American Pecan Council helps to give a more complete picture of what is going on in the pecan industry, both globally and domestically. Growers and handlers ship pecans all over the world while continuing to build awareness right here at home.
Since the American Pecan Council began releasing monthly data in September of 2018 we have seen that American growers have not been able to fill the demand gap for pecans. Each month since the data has been released, there has been an average of over 9 million pounds supply gap. That equates to just over 100 million pounds per year supply gap that has to be filled by imported pecans.
The 2018-19 season saw a supply gap of just over 89 million pounds with American growers delivering 249,816,676 pounds of pecans, while pecan deliveries to consumers equaled 339,123,535. The following season saw an even lager gap of over 132 million pounds supplied to consumers by imported product.
But this is no easy gap to fill. In order for growers to fill this gap, American growers would need to bring into production another 110,000 acres based on 1,200 pounds to the acre of production. And the gap is only expected to grow over the next decade.
With the continued marketing by the APC, demand for pecans is only expected to grow. While growers are planting new orchards as fast as possible, the time until production from initial planting makes expansion slower than crops that are faster to harvest. Pecan trees still take an average of 7-10 years to reach commercial production. Also when farmgate prices drop, growers have less money to invest in new orchards, which has been the case for several years now.
However farmgate prices are recovering fast and China is again buying pecan from American handlers and growers, helping push prices upward.