The American Pecan industry has just begun to get its roots established as a real player in the global tree nut market, but the trade war is taking its toll on American Pecan producers as major customers like China, shop elsewhere for pecans with lower tariffs.
The American Pecan industry only recently established a federal marketing order to allow American pecan growers to pool their monies in order to market pecans more effectively both domestically and abroad; and despite the attempts of morally bankrupt brokers to destroy the their efforts, the American pecan growers have succeeded at establishing a working council and staff to develop their industry.
While the federal marketing order is still relatively young at the age of three, the American Pecan growers have been marketing globally for more than a decade via the US Pecan Growers Council, and they have been having real success. Over the past 10 years American Pecan growers have traveled to numerous countries, pecan samples in suitcase, in order to introduce the American tree nut to the various markets.
One of the biggest customers the growers have been able to develop is China, the Chinese population has fallen in love with the American Pecan over the years as US Pecan Growers have spent the past decade developing the market through training and informational seminars and cooking events with the pecan as the star of the show.
Pecan exports to China grew over the years into the single largest customer for pecan growers. Once the trade war ensued pecan shipments to China halted as the tariffs continued to increase. Shipments to China have been dismal over the last two years of the trade conflict between the US and China, however, growers are quite hopeful that the phase one trade deal will mean large purchase of American Pecans and begin shipments to the long developed customer.
But not all is bad news, even as the trade war has ensued and caused pecan exports to plummet, the overall shipment numbers are still positive over last year as more American consumers have found the pecan on their plate.
The American Pecan Council made domestic consumption a top priority and have been working locally here in the US to increase consumption right here at home. Even as exports have fallen severely, the increase in consumption here in the US has been enough to offset the negative export numbers. Hopefully, a trade deal will unclog the export shipments and allow growers to continue to develop more customers overseas.