The American pecan industry has been experiencing tremendous growth over the last decade as pecan growers have formed and funded a marketing campaign that has been working around the globe to increase awareness of the health benefits and versatility of American pecan nuts.
The industry recently began to collect a limited amount of audited data contributed by growers and shellers to paint a better picture of industry supply and demand. The American Pecan Council has released monthly pecan position reports for nearly two years now allowing the industry to compare shipments, exports, inventory and supply capacities on a monthly basis.
Many pecan growers/suppliers have had major concerns over the slowing global economy, especially on the heels of a trade war, that could potentially hurt demand for pecans. However, growers fears have not come to fruition, in fact the opposite has been playing out as demand for pecans has continued to soar right through the trade war, and now continuing through the global pandemic which ultimately shutdown the global economy for several months, and is now taking a toll on various vulnerable industries and companies.
While growth has been good for the pecan industry, most of that growth has come from right here in the USA domestic market. The largely untapped market here in the US is seeing enormous growth. The export market, however, is another story.
So far this year pecan exports have fallen off by 10.6% year to date when compared to last year for the same time period (Sept-May). Total exports this time last year amounted to just over 88 million pounds while this year total exports sit at just over 79 million pounds.
Exports to Europe have fallen significantly this year, last year at this time Europe accounted for 42% of total exports while this year it only accounts for 38% of total exports. Overall exports for the year are down 9,361,207 pounds with the majority of that loss coming from Europe with current exports to Europe down 7,686,518 pounds from last year. The majority of the total decrease in exports (82%) is due to decreases in European shipments.
March and April saw increased shipments to Europe however most other months this year have been off and with only 3 months left in the season, it is unclear if the EU will be a bright spot in the data for the season.