The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service released the latest cold storage holdings last week with reports showing a big jump in in-shell pecans in cold storage. The latest report shows in-shell pecan stocks up a whopping 75% over the same time last year. The report shows an extra 51.6 million pounds of in-shell pecans in cold storage when compared to the same time last year.
The overall cold storage holdings for pecans is up also. Since February of this year cold storage holdings have been trending around 10% higher than last year, August however showed the largest increase, jumping to 18% over last year.
The cold storage data is showing the increase in production as well as the increase in pecan imports into the US. Pecan imports have continued to set new records as accumulators and shellers import pecans from Mexico. Reports by the American Pecan Council show a decrease in Mexican pecan imports, however the APC only reports pecans imported by handlers registered with the APC, foreign entities are under no obligation to report to the APC.
The Foreign Agricultural Service is also reporting fewer pecans imported into the US this year. As the pandemic has created significant uncertainty in markets around the globe, importers and shellers have imported less pecans from Mexico. Mexico is also shipping significantly more pecans to China than in previous years due to ongoing trade tensions between China and the US.
Whether pecan imports have actually decreased to the US is something of a debate in the pecan industry. Inventories continue to be reported at all time highs yet the origin of the pecans in the reports are somewhat of a mystery. As pecan shipments continue to push higher over last year, the reported purchases from US growers minus the reported shipments will leave readers scratching their heads as the numbers don’t add up.
Hopefully as the year comes to an end the American Pecan Council closes out the year, pecan inventories will become more inline with reported purchases and shipments. For now it seems we may have a large inventory with a bumper crop in the process of being harvested.