As this year’s pecan harvest moves into full swing in the southeastern US pecan prices have opened this season up around 11% higher than last year. Growers have been in the orchard shaking trees as more pecan varieties enter into shuck split on the trees.
The southeastern US is the largest pecan producing area on the planet, pecan varieties are highly abundant here and the University of Georgia has one of the most comprehensive pecan development and research programs among Universities in the country. Not only the Universities study pecans in the area, many centuries old family farms conduct long term research on cultivation practices in the search for better quality pecans and pecan trees.
Because of the vast amounts of acreage and research the area holds the most diverse mixture of pecan varieties and practices of anywhere else. This practice has created a more diverse buyer pool in the market as a by-product of the available selection of pecans.
Coming off of a shorter crop year last season with the highest ever recorded demand in the season prior, pecan growers are seeing early market prices open strong. Pawnee is one of the more popular early season varieties and has opened the season strong again this year.
Excel and Caddo have begun to hit the market and early market prices are again showing a strong open to the season. While it is still early in harvest spot prices have faired well. Contracts for Pawnee are currently being filled in the 2.50 range while spot market prices have hit as high as 2.70 ($5.95 per kg) for large wholesale quantities.
Retail is also holding strong with average consumer pecan pricing between $13.00 – $15.00 dollars per pound ($28.66 – $33.07 per kg) amongst the larger retailers. Pecans have become more mainstream as the industry works to build a more robust marketing campaign and message around the health benefits of pecans.