May 20, 2022
Like the weather, things often change overnight in the pecan industry. Back in January it appeared that the industry’s carryout would be the smallest in ten years. Consumption was running relatively close to 2021 levels, imports were running ahead of prior year levels and the industry was looking at the first opportunity in three years to make some money. However, inflation, poor crop reporting out of Mexico, higher prices and the continued logistics issues quickly changed that. Based on the Cold Storage holdings reported over the last three months, FAS export data and Customs import information, consumption has definitely hit a wall.
March 30, 2022
While prices remain firm in the face of tighter than expected supplies and a continued appetite for pecans, last week’s release of the February Cold Storage figures, as well as US Customs data relative to Mexican imports, would appear to indicate that both the US and Mexican crops were larger than originally forecast. While the cold storage figures would seem to indicate that the US Crop was slightly larger than the last USDA estimate of 258 million pounds, it is the import figures that shed the most light on the supply situation. Let me explain.
January 28, 2022
This past Monday, the USDA released the December Cold Storage holdings. While the figure showed a lower-than-expected inventory position, it should not have come as a surprise. For months, the industry has known that both the US and Mexican crops were considerably smaller.
December 09, 2021
For over twenty years, I have advocated the need for a strong industry marketing order, if for no other reason than to provide the industry with a unified approach to marketing and for the collection and dissemination of reliable data. When the American Pecan Council was formed in 2016, one of the organizations first efforts was to begin the process of data collection, for without good data, trying to predict markets is like trying to figure out which number the roulette wheel is going to land on (the odds are better at roulette).
October 12, 2021
The USDANASS (National Agricultural Statistics Service) issued the first ‘official’ pecan crop estimate of the 2021 crop year. Unfortunately, it was considerably lower than what most within the industry had expected. It is important to remember that the crop estimate is collected from grower surveys sent out this past August. However, if the numbers are accurate, this is how the supply situation shapes up.
September 02, 2021
Last week, the National Pecan Sheller's Association concluded their first 'in person' meeting in almost 18-months with their estimate of the 2021 crop. Based on a survey of their memebership, as well as those in attendance, they are predicting a 2021 US crop of 322,925,000 inshell pounds, slightly higher than the 297 million pound estimate from the Texas Pecan Growers meeting. A downloadable PDF copy of my presentation can be found under the 'Presentations' tab of this web site. As stated on that page, two numbers have changed since the presentation was made. The first is the revised US Crop estimate. The second, COMNUEZ lowered their estimate of the Mexican crop to 254 million pounds.
August 04, 2021
On July 20th, the Texas Pecan Growers Association closed their annual meeting with the first crop estimate of the 2021 pecan crop. Based on their membership, they estimate the crop to be 297 million pounds (inshell basis), down 1.8% from last year. Using NASS cold storage data, FAS and Market News import figures, as well as APC inventory figures, the extrapolated supply situation shapes up as follows:
2020 Crop Year (est.)
2021 crop Year (est.)
June 11, 2021
“To be, or not to be…” is one of the most well-know and quoted phrases in history. The opening lines of Prince Hamlet’s soliloquy from Scene 1, Act 3 (the ‘nunnery scene’), where Hamlet contemplates death and suicide, could be used as a warning to the US Pecan Growers who, for the next few weeks, will decide whether the industry’s Federal Marketing Order, and with it the American Pecan Council (APC), will ‘die’ or continue to serve an industry that desperately needs what it can provide. If the growers choose the former, thereby allowing the organization to die, they will in effect be committing suicide. Let me explain.
May 14, 2021
On May 5, 2021, the USDA released their final estimate of the 2020 pecan crop. Based on their data, the 2020 crop came in at 305.36 million pounds (inshell basis). Using NASS cold storage data, as well as APC inventory figures, the extrapolated supply situation shapes up as follows:
2019 Crop Year
2020 crop Year (est.)
Both the USDA and APC February Inventory Figures Indicate Both Increased Domestic Pecan Consumption and Increased Exports
March 29, 2021
Last week’s release of the USDA Cold Storage holdings contained nothing but good news. Not only were the February holdings lower than the previous year, but it was also the first time in fifteen months that the figures were lower than the previous years’ holdings. Based on the February APC figures, committed inventory was at 78.35% of USDA cold storage figures and 87.72% of inventory held by US Handlers, the second highest percentage in over a year. Further, the industry had the fewest days of available supply in over nine years (see attached PDF Graph in Market Conditions drop down of the Pecan Crop Statistics page).
March 08, 2021
While it is still too early to say that the worst is behind us, recently available data would seem to indicate that the industry may have finally turned the corner. Based on January USDA FAS data, as well as USDA NASS Cold Storage figures, it would appear that for the 2020 crop year, overall consumption is up approximately 6.1%. That figure is primarily driven by a 9.3% increase in domestic sales. When one considers that the food service segment of the industry has been almost totally devastated by the COVID pandemic, to see increases in both the domestic and export markets is very encouraging. If current Government estimates are correct as to when the US will reach ‘herd mentality,’ a resurgent food service segment could help to bolster consumption gains in the third and fourth qu
January 25, 2021
On January 21, 2021, the USDA released their 2020 preliminary crop production forecast projecting a final crop of 302.35 million pounds (inshell basis). This will be the last USDA estimate until they publish their final crop figures in June. Based on currently available information, the supply situation shapes up as follows:
2019 Crop Year
2020 crop Year (est.)
December 22, 2020
On December 10th, the USDA released their December Crop Forecast estimating the US Pecan Crop at 306.5 million pounds (inshell basis). This is a 5% increase over their October estimate and 20% over last year’s crop. It is important to remember that the USDA only provides estimates for the five largest pecan producing states which account for approximately 85% of total US production. With that in mind, the US crop is actually closer to 350 million pounds. While the USDA reduced their projection for New Mexico by 9-million pounds (from 86 to 77 million pounds) and left Arizona unchanged, it increased its forecasts for Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas. The biggest increases were seen in Texas and Georgia where the estimates were raised by 15-million and 10-million pounds respect
November 09, 2020
While reading the October issue of The Pecan Grower magazine, I was struck by several comments in the article authored by Dr. Lenny Wells. The one that jumped off the page was the comment on sheller participation on the Board of the American Pecan Council, “The biggest gripe most growers have is that shellers sit on the board of the American Pecan Council.” I thought that the industry was long past this, but apparently not. Not only are there still growers who would like to blame the shellers for the industry’s current woes, there are a number who believe that the APC itself is to blame and should therefore be eliminated. Neither position could be further from the truth nor more detrimental to our industry.
October 22, 2020
The USDA released the September Cold Storage Holdings today, the final report for the 2019 crop. While the industry may be entering the fourth year of a depressed market, there was good news in the numbers. The following is an overview of the supply and consumption situation based on today’s release:
September 15, 2020
While the 2019/2020 marketing year will probably go down as one of the strangest in history (someone suggested that if it were a movie, it would be the equivalent of Deliverance), there were a number of positives to come out of it.
June Cold Storage Holdings and Texas Pecan Grower's 2020 Crop Estimate Highlight Continued Oversupply Situation
August 03, 2020
With yesterday’s release of the June Cold Storage Holdings, the industry’s supply and consumption picture got a little clearer. When combined with the Texas Pecan Grower’s Association (TPGA) 2020 crop estimate, the supply situation shapes up as follows:
2019 Crop Year
2020 Crop Year
June 23, 2020
For those who might have missed it, the USDA NASS published the Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts 2019 Final Summary back on May 5, 2020. Historically, the crop final was published in July; however, to bring the report more into line with current planting and harvesting schedules, they published the report in June last year and moved it to May this year. Speaking with the USDA, future summary reports will continue to be published in May. Based on their survey of US Pecan Growers, the final 2019 crop came in at 255.6 million pounds (inshell basis for the five largest producing States). That would put the actual size of the crop somewhere around 300 million pounds. It will be interesting to compare that figure with the APC final number due out in September.
May 22, 2020
Under the Federal Marketing Order, the American Pecan Council is required to audit at least 25% of the handlers each year to ensure compliance with the order. Not only do the audits ensure compliance, but it is an opportunity to increase dialogue between the industry and the organization responsible for increasing consumer knowledge of pecans, their health benefits, value and versatility.
April 28, 2020
Since the USDA’s release of the March Cold Storage Holdings, I have received numerous inquiries relative to the amount of product in inventory and the possible impact on pricing. Contrary to what one ‘less-than-reputable’ blogger has reported, there is no Sheller/Broker conspiracy to push prices lower. While the number is higher than usual, it is not unheard of. In fact, data collected to date is following very closely with the same period in 2013.
March 27, 2020
For the second month in a row, we have seen significant increases in the Cold Storage figures. While there is some concern that the increase could be related to the COVID-19 virus, that does not explain the January jump. Further, annual shipments to China, Korea and Japan are considerably lower than the January increase alone. The February increase, and resultant inventory figure, are the largest in the history of the pecan industry, not just for the month of February but for any month ever. Yes, the virus could be part of the cause, but again, only part of the cause.
So, what is going on? Unfortunately, there is no one answer. It is a combination of things. Here are just a few of the possibilities:
February 26, 2020
Contrary to what was published last week by a less than reputable blogger, based on recently released USDA FAS data, and currently available crop information, both US pecan exports and US Domestic Consumption continue to rise. According to the December FAS data, overall pecan exports are up 13% over the same period a year ago. Kernel exports are up 6.1%, inshell exports up almost 30%. Inshell exports to China, even with the higher tariffs, are up over 550%. To date, exports to China in the first five months of the 2019 crop year have almost matched all of 2018’s shipments.
February 21, 2020
Over the next few months, every major pecan industry association will be meeting to discuss the 2020 crop, prices, trade issues, the direction of the industry, etc. As is normally the case, there will be a plethora of complaints about pricing, inconsistent yielding of inshell, imports from Mexico, the poor quality of pecans in some of the nation’s largest retailers, etc. Some will want to complain about the American Pecan Council, its board members, where the assessment is being spent, etc., but there will probably be no discussion about the industry’s unwillingness to do what is necessary to solve many of the above problems. There are three things that could help to address the aforementioned issues, all of which the APC has attempted to resolve but continues to get push-back from t
January 24, 2020
For those who are relatively new to the pecan industry, there was a time when the USDA NASS published a September, October and December crop estimate as well as a January Preliminary Crop report and a June/July Crop final. Due to budget cuts, and the cost of publishing that number of reports for such a small industry, most of those reports have been discontinued, taxpayer dollars now only paying for an October crop estimate and a June final, reports that only cover the five largest producing states; not very helpful for anyone trying to determine supply. Last year the American Pecan Council voted to fund both a December Crop Estimate and a January Preliminary Crop Report, the idea being that with better and more timely information, it might be easier for sellers to more accur
December 24, 2019
For what has certainly been a year for the record books, yesterday’s Cold Storage figures were certainly encouraging. For the first time since April 2018, there are less pecans in inventory than there were in the prior year. Yes, the harvest started late and shipments of Mexican inshell are down 37% from the same period a year ago. However, when one considers that since November 2018 the industry has reduced the inventory surplus by approximately 37 million pounds, there can be no doubt that consumption is headed in the right direction. Further, with the announced resolution of the US-China trade dispute, prices have finally started to turn around.
December 19, 2019
Well it seems that Mr. Matthew Bailey just can’t seem to help himself. As he has done on numerous previous occasions, he has again attempted to slander and defame the reputation of myself, Mr. George Martin and Navarro Pecan Company. In an article published today on his website, he has again seen fit to replace facts with lies and inuendo. In the post he refers to a lawsuit by Varistor AG, a court ordered judgment against Navarro, etc., all of which never occurred and accuses me of being complicit in unspecified crimes.
November 22, 2019
Today’s release of the USDA October Cold Storage Holdings, and their revision to the September figures, did little to change the consumption figures for 2018/2019. Based on the revised figures, 2018 supply and consumption shaped up as follows:
2018 Available Carry-in (USDA minus APC Sept. Commitments) 69,911,915
2018 US Crop (USDA) 242,920,000
2018 Mexican Imports (FAS) 322,218,000
2018 Supply available to US Marketers 635,049,915
Less 2018 Carry-Out (USDA minus APC Sept. Commitments) 80,478,376
October 24, 2019
On Tuesday, the USDA released the September Cold Storage Holdings. Based on their figures, 2018 supply shaped up as follows:
2018 Available Carry-in (USDA minus APC Sept. Commitments) 69,911,915
2018 US Crop (USDA) 242,920,000
2018 Mexican Imports (FAS) 322,218,000
2018 Supply available to US Marketers 635,049,915
Less 2018 Carry-Out (USDA) 182,081,000
September 23, 2019
At the conclusion of the National Pecan Sheller’s annual meeting, the association projected a 2019 US crop of 303,275,000 lbs. As part of their estimate, they projected a 2019 carry-in of 180 million pounds. Based on today’s release of the August Cold Storage Holdings, that figure should be very close. Averaging the Tri-state, Texas Pecan Grower and NPSA US crop estimates, the supply situation shapes up as follows:
2019 Carry-in (NPSA estimate) 180,000,000
2019 US Crop (Average of 3 estimates) 275,425,000
2019 Mexican Imports (NPSA ‘Net’ estimate) 230,000,000
2019 Supply available to US Marketers 685,425,000*
Under the Guidance of the American Pecan Council, the Pecan Industry is Laying a Solid Foundation for the Future
August 22, 2019
Having just returned from what turned out to be a very productive American Pecan Council meeting as well as the industry’s second Pecan Congress, one cannot help but be impressed with the progress that the industry has made over the past twelve months. New kernel and inshell standards have been approved and sent to the USDA for publication and public comment, industry marketing efforts are beginning to pay dividends, both domestically and internationally, for the first time ever, the industry is compiling accurate production acreage, the recently completed strategic plan is providing the direction needed to move the industry forward and much much more.
July 24, 2019
*** Note: The original newsletter had three graphs embedded in the text of the document. Those graphs can be downloaded from the 'Market Conditions' drop-down tab on the Pecan Crop Statistics page.
June 21, 2019
Good information is essential to running a successful business, especially in the pecan industry; an industry historically starved for good data. While the American Pecan Council (APC) is slowly changing that, there are still some sources out there that don’t seem to get it. Such was the case recently when on multiple occasions, a certain blogger posted that the US Shelling industry had committed to ship over 1 billion pounds of pecans. In the most recent blog, the writer stated, “With a 525,485,734 pound supply deficit, the pecan industry may have trouble filling current contracts.” To make matters worse, the same article stated, “Over the past 8 months, the US Pecan industry has committed to ship1,042,086,408 lbs of pecans.” Nothing could be further from the tru
May 15, 2019
With the release of the March American Pecan Council (APC) data, and contrary to what some have recently reported, the industry continues to find itself in an oversupply situation. Fifty-two percent of the total supply is still without a home.
April 22, 2019
The USDA NASS released the March Cold Storage Holdings today, and as might have been expected, revised upward the February holdings by approximately ten million pounds (inshell basis). Why was this expected, because of the American Pecan Council report for February. With the exception of November 2018, the difference between the USDA and APC figures has been relatively consistent.
April 11, 2019
For the better part of the past fifty years, the pecan industry has struggled to find its identity. Unlike the almond and walnut industries where both grower and processor shared common geography, labor costs, environmental laws, etc., the pecan industry, due to its geographic reach, was shackled by many of those same issues. Further, unlike its California competitors where early cooperatives fueled the economic engine that propelled those industries to world prominence, the fragmented and disparate pecan industry, lacking a unified goal and the leadership necessary to provide it with one, struggled.
March 28, 2019
There continues to be a lively conversation within the industry relative to total supply and consumption. The recently revised USDA/NASS 2018 crop estimate did not seem to help much. Due to weather related losses, they reduced their October estimate from 278.9 to 221.2 million pounds (inshell basis). Using their estimate, as well as currently available industry crop data, the supply situation shapes-up as follows:
2018 Carry-In (50% conversion rate) 162,653,000
2018 USDA NASS Estimate 221,200,000
2018 Net Mexican Imports (NPSA estimate) 260,000,000
2018 Total (Net estimate) 643,853,000*
March 15, 2019
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” – William Burke
While the actual originator of the above quote has been widely debated, its relevance has not. Too many times, especially in today’s politically correct society, rather than confront those who would use their power to bully and demean, good men (and women) find it easier to look the other way hoping to avoid the possibility of becoming the target of spurious attacks and character assassination themselves.
For the past two years, I have found myself to be the target of such attacks, not because I did anything wrong, but because I came to the defense of a friend. Well, this ‘Fox’ has had enough.
February 22, 2019
The USDA finally released the December 2018 Cold Storage figures (January numbers are scheduled for release on March 7, 2019), and as expected, inventories continue to be running ahead of last year; 194.9 million pounds (inshell basis) vs 183.9 million pounds. As has generally been the case since the American Pecan Council started publishing ‘Handler’ data, the USDA figures continue to show more in inventory than the APC figures indicate. This is to be expected since the USDA collects data from numerous ‘non-handler’ sources, some of whom are Growers who are not required to report inventory they hold until it enters commerce. Based on currently available information, much of the December difference can be attributed to stocks being held by Growers.
February 11, 2019
Let me start by asking a question. What do the following names have in common: Beatrice Foods, Consolidated Foods, Pet Milk, Nut Tree, Ace Pecan Company, Young Pecan Company, SNA, Gold Kist, Terri Lynn, Tracy Lucky, San Saba Pecan Company and Golden Peanut and Tree Nut? Answer: these are the names of the major US Shelling Companies that have either gone out of business or have had to move their shelling operations out of the southeast because they could not make money shelling southeastern pecans. This is not conjecture, this is fact. Why do I mention this?
A Brief Explanation of Current Market Pricing related to World Pecan Supply, China and US Pecan Sales
December 28, 2018
Over the past few days, I have received several calls asking why there is such a significant difference between the USDA Cold Storage and the American Pecan Council’s inventory figures. When comparing any USDA, FAS, Market News or APC data, it is important to understand where the data is coming from. The 1938 law that created the industry’s ability to establish a Federal Marketing Order specifically prohibits the collection of information, or assessments, from farmers whose product has not entered the stream of commerce. Only ‘Handlers’ are required to report and pay the assessment.
December 12, 2018
While kernel prices seem to have stabilized over the past few weeks, the pecan market continues to be soft. Even with the weather-related losses (i.e. Hurricane Michael, heavy rains, etc.), there appears to be plenty of pecans, particularly pieces. As such, the price differential between pieces and halves continues to grow. Based on the results of a recently completed contract auction for a major kernel contract, the spread is now over $1.00/lb. For some reason, unlike other nuts, pecan Sheller’s don’t seem to understand that it costs more to produce pieces than halves.
November 07, 2018
Having had a few days now to evaluate the recently released American Pecan Council figures for September 2018, as well as last month’s release of the 2017 crop totals, it would be fair to say that the American Pecan Council (APC) is going to be very busy meeting with NASS and FAS. Comparing recently released APC data to the USDA NASS and FAS numbers for the same period, it would appear that the US has not been shipping as much inshell to China as has been assumed. According to FAS, the US Pecan Industry shipped approximately 81 million pounds of pecans to China in 2017 (inshell basis). However, based on APC figures, only 44.6 million pounds of the 81 million pounds were actually US pecans. How could that be? Mexico has been shipping much of their Chinese exports through the US; in
October 23, 2018
Yesterday the USDA released the September Cold Storage Holdings. Using a 50% meat-to-inshell conversion rate, there were 29 million more pounds in inventory than the same period a year ago. Assuming that the figures are accurate, the 2018 US supply situation shapes-up as follows:
2018 Carry-In (50% Meat Conv. Rate) 169,365,000
2018 USDA NASS (8-State Estimate) 278,900,000
2018 Mexican Exports to US (net estimate) 230,000,000
2018 Total US Supply (estimate) 678,265,000
USDA Releases the 2018 Pecan Crop Estimate, the Impact of Hurrican Michael and The American Pecan Council Releases its 2017 Crop Data
October 15, 2018
While it may be months, possibly years, before an accurate assessment of the damage caused by Hurricane Michael can be determined, there is no doubt that the Georgia crop was hurt. Initial estimates put the losses at somewhere between 30 to 45 million pounds. The hurricane marched through the largest production area in Georgia, and in the words of one horticulturalist, the only bright spot may be that Mother Nature finally removed a number of trees that should probably have been removed years ago. Due to current market prices, many of the affected growers may decide not to salvage what they can as their insurance will pay more than what it will cost to clean-up the debris and pick-up the nuts. So, what does this mean for prices? Probably very little.
September 07, 2018
With Monday’s release by FAS of the 2017 US Pecan export data, the overall supply picture became substantially clearer. Not only were total exports up over the same period a year ago, so were imports from Mexico and US Domestic Consumption; both records. When combined with the July Cold Storage data, it would appear that there is both good and bad news for the industry. The good news; the pecan industry shipped a lot of product. The bad news; the shelling industry suffered substantial losses for a second year in a row.
May FAS Export Data Suspect. US Pecan Growers Hope to Get Government Reimbusement for Tariff Related Losses
July 20, 2018
For those who eagerly await the monthly release of the USDA FAS export data, you probably were surprised to see that the US exported NO inshell to China during the month of May. While some will say that this is a result of the new tariffs, please remember that the tariffs hadn’t taken effect yet. Further, while China didn’t import one pound of US inshell in May, worldwide US inshell exports were up over 2 million pounds. Obviously, there is a problem. Either GATS did not correctly enter the data given to them by the Department of Commerce (Census) or Census didn’t correctly record the data that was provided to them. Either way, it is statistically unrealistic to believe that US exports of inshell increased 2 million pounds in May with none of it going to China.
June 27, 2018
Capping a week of data releases and crop estimates, the USDA released their final 2017 crop estimate today estimating US production at 293.85 million pounds (inshell basis). Using that figure, the 2017 US supply worked out as follows:
2017 Carry-In (44% Meat Conv. Rate) 155,128,580
2017 USDA NASS Final 293,850,000
2017 Mexican Imports-Gross (NFF estimate) 225,000,000
2017 Total (estimate) 673,978,580*
*Note: 2016 Total Supply was approximately 642.1 million pounds. Net Mexican Imports through June 25, 2018 were approximately 195 million pounds).
May 22, 2018
Today’s release of the March Cold Storage Holdings continues to indicate that shipments are good. With approximately 12 million more pounds (inshell basis) in cold storage than a year ago, the industry should have no problem handling projected demand well into the Fall.
As for Mexico, while there have been no inshell shipments to the US since April 27th, meats continue to come across the border. Through May 13th, over 191 million pounds (162 million pounds net inshell basis) have crossed into the US. While Mexican imports will not come close to last year’s record crossings, as stated last month, both the US and Mexico appear to have had crops considerably larger than originally forecast.
The American Pecan Council Releases Preliminary 2016 Crop Data Indicating Crop Considerably Larger Than USDA Final Figure
April 24, 2018
As many of you know, one of the functions of the newly established American Pecan Council (APC) is to collect and disseminate pecan crop data. Year-end reporting forms for the 2016 crop were due back to the APC by mid-March. While there are still a few handlers who have yet to submit their forms, based on the assessments collected to date, on Monday, April 16th, the APC released a preliminary 2016 final crop figure of 288,665,284 pounds, approximately 7% MORE than the USDA final figure of 268,770,000. Why the difference? Because the USDA figures are based on voluntary submissions.
April 03, 2018
Last Thursday, March 29th, after a very good phone conversation with Mr. Patrick Packnett, Assistant Deputy Administrator for the USDA’s Office of Global Analysis, the USDA announced that the GATS database had been updated to correct all of the previously identified Mexican and Chinese export data errors from 2016 and 2017. Anyone interested in viewing a summary of the revisions should go to https://apps.fas.usda.gov/gats/DataRevisions.aspx. In addition, there is an announcement on the GATS homepage announcing the corrections. Our thanks go out to Mr. Packnett and his staff for making these corrections now rather than waiting until June.
The National Pecan Sheller's Association Releases It's Revised 2017 Crop Estimate. Department of Commerce Revises Key Pecan Export Data
March 16, 2018
After an extremely successful and productive Mid-Winter Meeting, the National Pecan Sheller’s Association published their estimate of the 2017 pecan crop. Using their estimate, the supply situation shapes-up as follows:
2017 Carry-In 155,128,580
2017 NPSA Estimate 319,200,000
2017 Net Mexican Imports (NFF estimate) 160,000,000
2017 Total (estimate) 634,328,580*
*Note: 2016 Total Supply was approximately 642,047 million pounds.
February 09, 2018
Recently released pecan export data contained some interesting information. While overall US pecan exports are up 9.7% over the same period a year ago, shelled pecans/meat shipments are down almost 9.4%. Shipments to China accounted for 50.7% of all US pecan exports compared to 43.7% last year. This is a bit of a surprise when one considers that this was supposed to be the off-buying year for China. Overall, exports to China are up 27% with inshell exports accounting for 80% of all US inshell shipments.
December Cold Storage Figures Show Good Movement as One Mexican Sheller Attempts to Manipulate the US Market
January 29, 2018
Based on last week's release of the December Cold Storage Holdings, consumption continues to be good. While overseas shipments, particularly to China, slowed during the month, they are still slightly ahead of last year. This can be generally attributed to reduced market prices and a weaker dollar in Europe.
December 19, 2017
A number of years ago, while attending a meeting of the National Pecan Sheller’s Association, I happened upon a large group of shellers who were complaining about high inshell prices. Several times during the conversation, the discussion became rather heated. At the prices they were being forced to pay, how would the industry be able to come up with enough money to buy the crop? How would they be able to market them? After all, the market had never reached such levels. Surely the industry would suffer significant losses. As I stood there and listened, Nick Sachs, one of the most market savvy and statistically knowledgeable brokers in the history of our industry, walked over and asked, “Did anyone hold a gun to your head?” The conversation stopped. You could have heard a pin dro
Beginning October 1, Based on the New Marketing Order, All Meats will be Converted at a Shell-out of 50%
December 07, 2017
On July 31, 2008, the National Pecan Sheller’s Association changed the meat-to-inshell conversion rate from 40%, the rate that had been used by the industry for decades, to 44% to more accurately reflect the increased production of higher yielding improved variety pecans. During the development process of the American Pecan Council (APC), the committee members recommended that the industry move to a 50% conversion rate to more accurately reflect the average meat yield of the varieties in production today. That proposed conversion rate became official with the approval of the new marketing order and creation of the American Pecan Council. While the USDA crop year runs from October 1 through September 30, the marketing order created a reporting year of September 1 through August 31. T
October 23, 2017
The USDA Cold Storage Holdings for September were released today. The 2016 carry-out was 155.1 million pounds (inshell basis); 26 million pounds more than 2015. Assuming that the numbers are correct, and not adding anything for the seven states excluded from the USDA estimate, the supply situation shapes-up as follows:
2017 Carry-In 155,128,580
2017 USDA Estimate (8 Largest States) 277,400,000
2017 Net Mexican Imports (NFF estimate) 180,000,000
2017 Total (estimate) 612,528,580*
*Note: 2016 Total Supply was approximately 642,047 million pounds.
October 12, 2017
October 12, 2017
The USDA released their only 2017 pecan crop estimate today projecting a crop of 277.4 million pounds (inshell basis). Assuming that number is correct, the supply situation shapes-up as follows:
September 22, 2017
A lot has been said about the damage to the Texas and Georgia crops as a result of Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma, and while there was significant damage, especially to the Georgia crop, it could have been a lot worse. It could take weeks to clean up the downed trees, broken branches, etc., and because the bulk of the destroyed trees were young, Georgia’s production will be impacted for years to come. Fortunately, the state was originally projected to have a good crop, and while the market did experience some firming in the days that followed, it now appears that even with the projected losses, pecan supplies will still be sufficient to handle projected consumption.
August 23, 2017
To say that China’s entry into the pecan market has been a double-edged sword would be an understatement. Their appetite for large, high quality, high yielding inshell, and their willingness to pay exorbitantly high prices to get it, has not only reshaped the US pecan market but has led to increased pecan production, and competition, around the world. While the principle benefit has been to significantly improve returns to the grower, every pound on inshell headed to Hong Kong has meant one less pound that could have been sold to long-term US domestic customers. Based on the latest FAS figures, as well as the July Cold Storage holdings, the US domestic market again took a back seat to China.
July 25, 2017
Yesterday’s release of the July Cold Storage figures contained nothing that should dramatically change current market pricing. While overall inventories increased slightly over the same period a year ago, this is probably due to the record amount of product continuing to enter the US from Mexico. As of July 23, 2017, Mexico had shipped over 233.3 million pounds of pecans to the US. On a net basis, that equates to approximately 215 million pounds, or an increase of almost 30 million pounds (inshell basis) over the same period a year ago. With Chinese demand continuing to dictate the market’s direction, and projections for a smaller than expected 2017 Mexican crop, prices will probably remain firm well into the fall. Further, until Chinese buyers decide that pricing has gotten too hi
June 28, 2017
The USDA released their annual Noncitrus Fruit and Nuts 2016 Summary a few weeks early this year. Based on their survey figures, they estimate the 2016 crop to have been 268.77 million pounds, inshell basis, up from their October estimate of 262.7 million pounds. Based on currently available information, the 2016 pecan supply (US & Mexico) was as follows:
2016 Carry-In 129,097,000
2016 US Crop 268,770,000
Mexican Imports (NET estimate) 218,000,000
2016 Total (estimate) 615,867,000*
Tri-State Growers Forecast 292 Million Pound 2017 Pecan Crop as Consumption Continues to be Stronger than Expected
June 23, 2017
The past few weeks have been full of good news for the pecan industry. Overall exports are up, overall exports to China are up, meat sales to China are up, and even with high pecan prices, overall pecan shipments continue to be good. Further, while domestic consumption is still down 10.9% since 2015, it is only down 2% over the same period a year ago. With walnut prices continuing to firm due to a tighter than expected supply, the consumption pendulum appears to be swinging back toward pecans.
May 22, 2017
Based on today’s release of the April Cold Storage Holdings, as well as currently available data, it would appear that overall pecan consumption is only down about 7%. When one considers current pricing levels, and the fact that the industry lost about 10.5% consumption last year, this is considerably better than what had been expected. As has been stated in several of my earlier newsletters, much of this can be attributed to China’s increased appetite for shelled meats. However, this continues a trend of increasing overseas shipments in the face of decreased domestic purchases. Today’s release would seem to indicate that domestic consumption is down almost 14% over the same time a year ago amounting to a loss of almost 86 million pounds (inshell basis) in the past two years.
May 08, 2017
Back in September, during their annual meeting, the Mexican pecan growers projected a 2016 crop of approximately 270 million pounds. After two consecutive years of record crops, many within the industry greeted the estimate with skepticism even though it is common knowledge that plantings in Mexico continue at a robust pace. This past Friday, May 5, 2017, the Mexican Agricultural Information Service released their official figures on the crop; 310.4 million pounds. Not only is this another record crop, but it is also the third year in a row that Mexico has out-produced the US.
April 04, 2017
On Thursday, March 23, 2017, the National Pecan Sheller’s Association estimated the 2016 US Pecan Crop to be 286.7 million pounds (inshell basis). Based on their figures, this is how the US supply shapes up:
2016 Carry-In 130,007,180
2016 US Crop (NPSA est.) 286,725,000
Net Mexican Imports (NPSA est.) 190,000,000
Total (estimate) 606,732,180*
*Note: Net 2015 Total Supply – 561.8 million pounds
February 28, 2017
This past Thursday, the USDA released the January Cold Storage figures. As has been the case for the past several months, supplies are still running well ahead of last year; 284.8 million pounds vs. 260.9 million pounds (inshell basis). While prices continue to be firm, there has been some weakening since December’s record levels. However, with the exception of macadamias, pecans continue to be the highest priced tree nut in the market basket.
January 25, 2017
As the harvest slowly concludes in both Mexico and the US, demand continues to be good. As expected, exports to China were good through November; up approximately 40% over the same period a year ago. Further, overall exports were also up. However, all of the increase can be attributed to China. What was most interesting in the FAS data released earlier this month was the large amount of meats shipped to China in both October and November. One possible explanation; our crop was late and Chinese traders needed meats to satisfy their retail and ingredient users. Why would this show-up now?
December 23, 2016
Based on the October FAS export figures, overall consumption continues to be down; currently running about 11% below the same period a year ago. The report also shows that shipments to China were down. However, because the harvest started so late, that was not much of a surprise. Based on conversations with several major exporters in Georgia, the November export numbers should show a significant increase.
December 09, 2016
For those of have been scratching their heads as to the current condition of the pecan market, you are not alone. With current market prices at or near record levels, and what appears to be a feeding frenzy going on in the orchards, both the Growers and the Shellers need to take a step back to consider where this market is headed. While much of the current buying frenzy can be directly attributed to the late harvest in the Southeastern US, the lack of adequate salable inventory in the September 30 year-end cold storage holdings and the early timing of the Chinese New Year, based on currently available data, there are still enough pecans to handle projected consumption. Why?
Amerian Pecan Council Meets for the First Time While the Industry Deals With High Prices & Reduced Consumption
November 25, 2016
On November 16 and 17, the newly established American Pecan Council met for the first time. Hosted by the USDA at the George H. W. Bush International Airport Marriott Hotel, the meeting started with introductions, a briefing on the mechanics of the marketing order and the USDA’s role in its implementation. After lunch, the industry representatives selected the Board’s officers electing Mike Adams as President, Bruce Caris as Vice President, G.L. Straley as Treasurer and Trent Mason as Secretary.
October 26, 2016
This morning the USDA announced the results of the recently concluded election to seat industry representatives to the newly established American Pecan Council. Congratulations to the industry, and those elected to the Board, as the industry takes another step forward. Wasting no time, the first meetings are already being scheduled for early November. As one might imagine, the Board has its work cut out for it as they still need to appoint two additional Board members, decide on a location for their headquarters, set up a bank account, hire a full time staff, develop and disseminate assessment forms and much more. A list of the elected Board members and their alternates can be found on the 'Presentations/Articles' page of this website. Again, congratulations.
September 23, 2016
Recently released 2015 crop year export figures contained a lot of both good, as well as disconcerting, information. On the good side, while US pecan exports were off 12.5% over the previous year, all of the reduction can be attributed to China. Exports to most of the other major pecan markets were up. Not only did the shipments of shelled pecans out-pace last year’s record, shipments of inshell to many of those same markets also increased; a possible indication that the marketing efforts of US Pecan are finally starting to pay off. One of the brightest positives, a 28.6% increase in meat shipments to China; the fourth year in a row of increases.
August 09, 2016
For the second year in a row, Mexican pecan production outpaced the US. Based on recently released crop figures, Mexico produced a record 2015 pecan crop; 270,535.4 million pounds, an increase of almost 400,000 lbs over the 2014 record crop. Further, based on July 31, 2016 trade figures, Mexico also set a new record for exports to the US shipping almost 207 million pounds (inshell basis) across the border. Even when one takes into consideration the double counting of US inshell processed in Mexico, a record number of pecans came across the border.
July 06, 2016
Today’s USDA release of the final 2015 crop figures is another example of why the Pecan industry needed to pass the marketing order. Statistics have always been a problem for the industry and today’s release is no exception. Based on voluntary input from both Growers and Shellers, the USDA put the final 2015 crop at 254.3 million pounds. That is very interesting when one considers the following:
June 24, 2016
Today’s release of the May Cold Storage Holdings, while impressive, left more questions unanswered than answered. Assuming that the figures are correct, and are not adjusted next month, the industry shipped more pecans in the month of May than during any other May in history; and not by just a little. In May of 1990 the industry shipped 28 million pounds (inshell basis). According to today’s release, the industry shipped over 36 million pounds; a better than 28% increase over the previous record. Adjusting the potential carryout numbers based on today’s release would seem to indicate that US Consumption is only down 13%. When one takes into consideration the recently released Tri-State 2016 crop estimate, total supply could once again top 600 million pounds.
May 23, 2016
Because the pecan industry has not had the benefit of operating under a Federal marketing order, it has had to rely on best guesses, segmented industry estimates and varied opinions as to the validity of US Government data when trying to determine the actual size of each year’s crop and the resultant consumption. One of the problems associated with the collection of data under such conditions is that there is a ‘coefficient of personal prejudice’ associated with the data being presented based on who is the presenter. As more and more presenters put their personal spin on the data, the actual numbers seem to get lost and the industry begins to believe their own lies. That would certainly appear to be the case with the various crop estimates presented this past year.
April 22, 2016
While overall US pecan exports continue to be down (approximately 8%), meat shipments are up 4% over the same period a year ago. China continues to be the primary reason for the overall decline with inshell shipments off 33%. However, meat shipments to China continue to increase and are currently running 41.25% ahead of last year. Based on the February export figures, it would appear that the Chinese Government’s crackdown on tax cheats has been successful as inshell shipments to China through Vietnam dropped from 32.3 million pounds to 6.2 million. Conversely, inshell shipments to mainland China increased from 399,473 lbs to 4.5 million pounds.
March 23, 2016
The release of the February Cold Storage Holdings contained a lot of good news for the industry. First, the January figures were revised downward approximately 8 million pounds (inshell basis). Based on conversations with the USDA, one Sheller incorrectly submitted shelled meat data for inshell holdings and inshell data for shelled meat data for the January report and didn’t find the error until they were submitting their February data. The result of the change means that consumption in January was greater than originally thought and in line with earlier projections. Second, the increase in cold storage holdings, while greater than February 2015 levels, is in line with inventory increases in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
While HIgh Prices and Tighter Supplies Impact Consumption, There will be No 2015 Preliminary Crop Estimate
February 08, 2016
First, let me begin by thanking everyone who responded to my request and sent emails to the USDA regarding their decision not to publish the Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts 2015 Preliminary Crop Data. Your response was overwhelming! As a result, members from various segments of the pecan industry entered into discussions with NASS (National Ag Statistics Service) concerning the decision. Because of your response, NASS agreed to publish the report IF the industry would agree to pay for it. The cost to do so would have been $20,000.00.
January 14, 2016
Normally I would not send out two newsletters within a week of each other. However, on Tuesday I contacted the USDA National Ag Statistics Service to find out why their crop production report did not include any data on the pecan crop. I was advised that the data would have normally been published next week in the agency’s 2015 Preliminary Crop Report. However, due to ‘budgetary constraints,’ it was decided late last week not to publish the report, and if I wanted to comment on that decision, I should send my comments to Ms. Sue King (phone 202-690-8122) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 08, 2016
Weather continues to create problems for the pecan harvest. Heavy persistent rains throughout the growing region, severe flooding and most recently a heavy snowfall in the southwest (some areas received as much as 18 inches) have turned what many had projected to be a promising on-year crop into an average crop at best. As a result, prices in the field continue to climb and are now nearing the record levels of 2010 and 2011.
December 22, 2015
The USDA released their November Cold Storage figures today, and while pecan consumption continued at a healthy pace through November, that is certain to change in the months ahead. With walnuts now trading at almost $4.00 per pound less than pecans, major retailers are just now beginning to adjust their walnut prices to reflect current market conditions. That will change after the first of the year when retailers can be expected to more aggressively reflect those costs in an effort to spur sales during the slowest sales period of the year. Whereas pecans have been one of the best values over the past three years, the industry can expect walnuts to take back much of what they lost to pecans in both the retail and bakery segments.
November 23, 2015
The USDA released their October Cold Storage figures today. Based on the USDA figures, the 2015 supply situation shapes up as follows:
2014 Carry-out 121,319,000
2015 US Crop (USDA estimate) 272,340,000
2015 Mexican Imports (estimate) 180,000,000
2015 Total Supply 573,659,000
*Note: 2014 Total Supply is estimated to have been 638 million pounds (inshell basis) and does not take into account the USDA’s double counting of inshell shipped to Mexico for processing. 2014 consumption was approximately 516.6 million pounds (inshell basis).
October 12, 2015
In September 1986, the USDA projected a US Crop of approximately 180 million pounds; considerably smaller than anyone in the industry had expected. As one might imagine, prices in the field climbed dramatically. Meat prices also soared. Fearing that there would not be enough pecans to fill anticipated demand, the US Shellers jumped into the market and purchased every pound they could get their hands on as quickly as they could. Then, just as unexpectedly, in early December 1986, the USDA revised their numbers. Evidently they had underestimated the crop, a crop that turned out to be 272.7 million pounds. The resulting 33% error caused prices to tumble.
September 22, 2015
For the first time ever, the Mexican pecan crop was larger than the US crop. Based on Mexican Government figures released on July 31, 2015, the Mexican crop was just under 271 million pounds compared to a US crop of 264 million pounds. With Mexico continuing to plant more trees, this will probably not be the last time this happens.
August 06, 2015
While there are still two months to go in the 2014 crop year, it would appear to be a year of records for the Pecan industry; record overall consumption, record exports, record domestic consumption and record imports from Mexico. Based on recently released import and export data, it would appear that for the first time ever, pecan consumption will top a half billion pounds (inshell basis).
2013 Carry-out 171,626,000
2014 US Crop 264,150,000
2014 Mexican Imports 199,965,100
2014 Total Supply 635,741,100
2014 Carry-Out (estimate) 110,000,000
June 23, 2015
The Tri-State Growers (Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi) concluded their annual meeting this past Friday with the first crop estimate of the season. While the crop is projected to be larger than the 2014 crop, 283 million pounds vs 265 million pounds, total supply will be lower. Looking over the figures for each state, many within the industry believe that the 80 million pound figure for Georgia is anywhere from twenty to forty million pounds too low. However, it is also felt that the projected crops for Oklahoma and Alabama may not materialize. As such, the overall estimate may not be too far out of line.
May 29, 2015
The South African pecan harvest is progressing well with many expecting the crop to be as big as, or larger, than last year’s crop. However, early data indicates that individual nut size is smaller than expected. While the Chinese prefer to purchase oversize nuts, approximately 50 to 60 count or larger, the preponderance of the harvest is coming out as extra-large or smaller (60 plus count). This has resulted in lower returns to the Grower than expected and may bode well for US Growers holding or producing larger nuts.
April 10, 2015
Pecan consumption continues to increase at a record pace. Based on the recent Cold Storage figures (released 3/23/15) and the Foreign Ag Statistics figures released last Thursday, pecan exports are up 38.5% with China accounting for 54% of all US pecan exports (inshell basis). Year to date, exports to China are up 71% over the same period a year ago with inshell shipments to China (China/Hong Kong/Vietnam) accounting for 83% of total US inshell exports. Further, shipments of shelled meats to China are also up dramatically; 119%.
Increases in inshell shipments weren’t the only good news. Worldwide, consumption of shelled meats is up almost 20%. US pecan consumption is up as well; 10% over the same period a year ago.
March 06, 2015
March 6, 2015 –
January 25, 2015
The USDA, National Ag Statistics Service released their 2014 Preliminary Crop Summary today, and as expected, lowered their projection for the 2014 pecan crop to 265,370,000 pounds (inshell basis). While many within the industry feel that the figures for Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico may still be overstated, using the new USDA figure, the 2014/2015 US supply situation shapes up as follows (inshell basis):
2013 Carry-Out 171,626,000
2014 US Crop (USDA Estimate) 265,370,000
November 25, 2014
November 04, 2014
On October 31, 2014, Golden Peanut Company, LLC, a subsidiary of ADM announced that they had acquired Harrell Nut Company. They also announced that with the acquisition, they would be changing their name to Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts. A copy of the press release can be downloaded from the 'Presentations & Articles' page of this website.
October 24, 2014
The USDA, National Ag Statistics Service released their September Cold Storage Holdings this past Wednesday. Using their figure, the 2014 US supply situation shapes up as follows (inshell basis):
August 28, 2014
‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ (George Santayana-1905). In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill changed the quote slightly when he said (paraphrased), ‘Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.’
July 23, 2014
Normally I would not post two Pecan Market Updates within a week of each other, but due to numerous calls I’ve received since the release of the June Cold Storage Holdings yesterday, I felt it would be helpful to do so.
July 17, 2014
The USDA published the long awaited, much anticipated, 2013 final crop figure. They estimated the 2013 pecan crop to be 266.3 million pounds (inshell basis). While earlier industry estimates had put the crop as low as 170 million pounds, based on Customs and Foreign Ag Statistics Data published over the past six months, it had become obvious that the crop had to be significantly larger. While it will be several months before we have a final 2013 carry out figure, based on today’s release, 2013 total supply shaped up as follows:
2012 Carry-Out 175,003,000
June 24, 2014
The Tri-State Growers concluded their annual meeting Friday with the first grower estimate of the 2014 pecan crop. Using their figure, the 2014 US supply situation shapes up as follows (inshell basis):
2013 Carry-Out (NFF Estimate)
May 08, 2014
One cannot increase consumption without adequate supply. Barring the introduction of artificial outside influences such as price supports, protective tariffs, etc., this is always true.
March 21, 2014
While the industry will not get a formal USDA crop estimate until July, with each passing day it is becomes more apparent that this year’s crop was much larger than originally forecast. Not only does it appear that Mexico had a larger than originally projected crop, but many within the industry now agree that both Georgia and New Mexico did as well. Even though uncommitted US inshell inventories continue to decline, mainly because China has stepped back into the market, cheap Mexican meats continue to come across the border at prices well below the current market. Adding to the problem is the addition of several new Shellers, who, hungry to enter the meat market at whatever cost, have also contributed to the current market malaise.
February 21, 2014
While the December export figures continue to show a decline in pecan exports over the same period a year ago, almost all of the decline can be attributed to the reduction in the amount of inshell purchased by China; down approximately 46%. This has not only resulted in low field prices, but has kept meat prices competitive with almonds and walnuts. As such, even though this year’s crop is approximately 170 million pounds smaller than the 2012 crop, the reduction in China’s purchases has allowed US Sheller’s to maintain, and in some cases expand, their meat sales to Europe and the US market.
January 22, 2014
December 23, 2013
While it is still too early to draw any definitive projections for the 2014 marketing year, when combined with the recently released October export figures, today’s release of the November Cold Storage holdings should put to bed any concerns about consumption. Meat imports from Mexico are up dramatically, US consumption is up as are meat exports. While the world-wide increase in meat exports was minimal, it is still up over last year’s record pace. Considering the price of almonds, walnuts and pistachios, even with the reduction in Chinese inshell purchases, the pecan industry appears to be headed for another record year of consumption.
November 27, 2013
Last Friday’s revised September 30, 2013 Cold Storage figures showed a carryout of 175 million pounds (inshell basis). While this is slightly lower than last month’s figures, when added to recent US and Mexican crop projections, there should still be more than enough pecans to handle current consumption.
Contrary to a recent New York Times article claiming that higher prices and tighter supplies would keep most consumers from making pecan pies for Thanksgiving, nothing could be further from the truth. Consumption is running at a record pace. Ninety-six million pounds (inshell basis) were shipped in the months of September and October alone and worldwide consumption continues to be strong.
October 31, 2013
Today’s delayed release of the September USDA Cold Storage holdings shows an industry inventory just shy of 181.5 million pounds (inshell basis). When added to the US Crop projections, as well as what is expected to come in from Mexico, the 2013 supply situation shapes up as follows:
2012 Carry Out (estimate) 181,485,280
2013 US Crop (Average of Sheller/Grower estimates) 214,233,000
2013 Mexican Imports (estimate)* 135,000,000
2013 Total Supply (estimate) 530,718,280
Lower Pecan Prices in 2012/2013 Led to a Significant Increase in Consumption. Where does the Industry Go From Here?
October 02, 2013
The final 2012 export figures were published last month by the USDA Foreign Ag Statistics Service (FAS) and, as expected, exports were up dramatically. Overall exports climbed from 150.64 million pounds (inshell basis) to 200.62 million pounds; a new record. While exports to China accounted for 34.4 million pounds of the increase, exports to all of the other major pecan importing countries were up. Export shipments of shelled meats continued to rebound; up approximately 11%.
August 22, 2013
While the 2012 crop year export/import data will not be published by the Foreign Ag Statistics Service (FAS) until early next month, Customs data reflects another increase in pecan imports from Mexico. Between August 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013, the US imported 152.39 million pounds (inshell basis) from Mexico, an increase of approximately 3.85 million pounds over the prior year. Assuming that the 2012 crop was approximately 375 million pounds, consumption is currently running over 440 million pounds, an increase of approximately 11.4% over the same period last year.
August 09, 2013
While the Almond Board's release of the July Position Report may not have been good news for Almond buyers, it was definately good news for the Pecan industry. Shipments continue to surpass levels of a year ago and with the 2013 Almond crop projected to be approximately 185 million pounds less than last year, the Pecan industry has been given a rare opportunity to supply product to customers not normally available to them. When one considers that the 2013 Walnut crop is also projected to be smaller than last year and that shelled Walnuts continue to sell at or near record levels, the Pecan industry stands to see significant gains in consumption across
July 17, 2013
Last week’s release by the Foreign Ag Statistic Service (FAS) of the May export figures contained some very encouraging news. While inshell shipments to China have temporarily ground to a halt, shipments of shelled Pecan meats continue to improve. May meat shipments were up 10% over April and 4.8% over the same period last year. Further, this trend was true for Canada, Holland, Mexico and the UK; the four largest Pecan importing countries. This continues a trend that started several months ago, and with meat prices continuing to be very competitive relative to Almonds, Walnuts and Pistachios, should continue well into the Fall. Based on current 2013 crop projections, and barring a natural disaster, the trend should continue well into next year.
June 21, 2013
Today’s USDA Cold Storage report shows an industry inventory just shy of 300 million pounds (inshell basis). Based on historical data, and assuming that consumption continues at or near its current pace, the industry could carry out as much as 205.7 million pounds of product into the 2013 crop. Combining the projected carry out with the Tri-State Pecan Growers 2013 crop estimate of 222 million pounds (released earlier today), the 2013 supply situation could shape up as follows:
2012 Carry Out (estimate) 205,700,000
2013 US Crop (Tri-State estimate) 222,000,000
2013 Mexican Imports (estimate) 130,000,000
June 19, 2013
Over the past 100 years, nothing has had a greater impact on the Pecan industry than the emergence of China as a trading partner. Since 2002, no country, no company, no natural event, no innovation has changed the Pecan industry more that China. In the process, Growers have seen the value of their harvest more than double thereby allowing them to improve their orchards, plant more trees, and for the first time, become an active participant in the marketing of their product. On the other side of the spectrum, Sheller’s have had to adjust their buying strategies in the face of ever increasing prices and develop new ways of financing their inventory purchases all the while trying to continue to service an ingredient market in which the average consumer has seen their costs jump 100%.
May 15, 2013
Based on the latest USDA FAS Import and Export figures, as well as the March Cold Storage holdings, one could easily make the argument that the 2012 Pecan Crop was at least 360 million pounds (inshell basis). Unfortunately, due to the recent decision by the USDA to cancel all future crop production reports, this will be a matter of debate for years to come. However, based on the figures we do know (last year’s crop figure, FAS & Customs Import figures, 2012 Carryout, etc.), it would be impossible to be handling the current export shipments, as well as a robust US Domestic market, if the crop was only the 302.8 million pounds the USDA projected in their January Preliminary Production Report. With 2012/2013 Mexican imports down considerably from last year, and US exports u
April 17, 2013
There were no surprises in last week’s release of the February import/export figures by the Foreign Ag Statistics Service. Based on the FAS figures, and as expected, exports to China set a new record. Between August 1, 2012 and February 28, 2013, China imported almost 89 million pounds (inshell basis) of pecans. Within that figure, exports to Vietnam and China were both down slightly but Hong Kong more than made up the difference. Overall exports to China are up 52% over 2012 and now account for almost 60% of all pecan exports.
March 13, 2013
Last week’s release of the January export figures contained both good and bad news. The good news; exports continue to be up dramatically over the same period last year. The bad news; exports continue to be up dramatically over the same period last year. Confused? On the surface, the USDA Foreign Ag Statistics Service (FAS) data for the export year beginning August 1, 2012, shows overall exports up approximately thirty-seven percent. Good news for an industry that watched overall consumption drop ten percent over the past two years. What’s more, if you are a grower who was able to produce a product that China wanted, the report contained a lot of good news. Exports to China (including China, Hong Kong and Vietnam) are continuing at a record pace.
February 13, 2013
This past Thursday the National Pecan Sheller’s Association (NPSA) released their estimate of the 2012 Pecan Crop projecting a crop of 316 million pounds (inshell basis). While this is approximately 14 million pounds more than the January USDA estimate of 302.8 million pounds, due to the significant increase in consumption currently being experienced by the industry, the apparent increase should have little or no impact on current market prices. If the NPSA figure is correct, and barring any natural disasters, the supply situation shapes up as follows:
January 25, 2013
The USDA released their final 2012 crop estimate today lowering their October 2012 projection to 302.8 million pounds (inshell basis). Assuming that this figure is correct, and barring any natural disasters, the supply situation shapes up as follows:
December 11, 2012
A few years ago, during the course of contract negotiations with a major corporate buyer, the buyer said to me, ‘Why would anyone in their right mind want to be a Pecan Sheller? There is no money in it and it seems that the Shellers take great pleasure in trying to destroy each other regardless of the impact it has on the market, the growers or themselves.’ We find ourselves in just such a situation today. Twice in the last twenty years one Sheller has tried to manipulate the market.
October 12, 2012
Based on yesterday’s USDA Crop estimate, it would appear that the National Pecan Sheller’s Association estimate of 309 million pounds (inshell basis) was ‘spot on.’ The USDA has estimated the 2012 crop to be 308.6 million pounds. Assuming that this figure is correct, and barring any natural disasters, the supply situation shapes up as follows:
September 26, 2012
Last week the National Pecan Sheller’s Association ended their annual meeting with their estimate of the upcoming Pecan crop. At 309 million pounds (inshell basis), their estimate was the highest of the pre-harvest crop estimates. Averaging their estimate with those of the Tri-State and Texas Growers, and barring any natural disasters, the supply situation shapes up as follows:
2011 Carry-Out (estimate)
US Crop (Av. of TX/Tri State/NPSA Estimates)
August 31, 2012
Almonds: While many within the industry had projected a smaller 2012 Nonpareil crop, early harvest results have tended to show both lower yields and smaller sizes than expected. With the Nonpareil harvest about 50 to 60% complete, the average kernel size is estimated to be in 27/30 to 25/27 range.
August 07, 2012
Mother Nature has again thrown the Pecan industry another curve. Based on recent Grower estimates, it would appear that this year's 'off-year' crop could actually be larger than last year's 'on-year' crop. While the harvest is still several months away, and whether the current supply pattern is simply a fluke or a change in the alternate bearing cycle of the trees, over the past four years the crop has not varied by more than 24 million pounds from one year to the next.
July 08, 2012
On Friday, July 6, 2012, the USDA published the final crop figures for the 2011 Pecan Crop. Based on their survey, the 2011 US Pecan Crop topped out at 269.7 million inshell pounds. This is only 1.7 million pounds less than their March 2012 revised estimate, and as such, will have little impact on the market.
June 22, 2012
The Tri-State Growers concluded their annual meeting last week with the release of the season's first 2012 Pecan Crop estimate. Based on input from their members, they are projecting a 2012 crop of 265 million pounds (inshell basis). When one considers the severe drought conditions experienced throughout the pecan belt last year and the fact that the average 'off-year' crop is generally somewhere around 190 to 200 million pounds, this is a very encouraging number. Assuming that the crop comes in as projected, and barring any natural disasters, the supply situation shapes up as follows:
May 25, 2012
Based on the recent Cold Storage Report, it would appear that the severe drought that plagued the industry last year is still having an adverse impact on the Pecan market. The recently released figures indicate that worldwide Pecan consumption is off by almost ten percent. While the record high prices of last summer and fall certainly played a part in the drop, the effects of the drought continue to create problems. Due to the dryer than normal growing conditions experienced last summer, most of the nuts harvested in the southwest and Mexico also came in dryer than normal. As such, when shelled, the percentage of halves yielded per pound is down significantly. Some Sheller's have reported half yields as low as 50%.
May 06, 2012
On Thursday, May 3, 2012, the USDA released their 2012 Subject Almond Crop Estimate forecasting a crop of 2.0 billion pounds (kernel basis). This is approximately 1.5% below last year's production and is based on 780,000 bearing acres. After three record crops, most within the industry had anticipated a smaller crop. However, many independent estimates had placed the size of the crop somewhere between 1.9 and 1.95 billion pounds. With record consumption and a very small carryout, prices will probably remain firm. However, it should be remembered that in general, over the past several years, the size of the crop has generally turned out to be larger than the original estimate. Regardless, when it comes to nut meats, Almonds will continue to be the best buy.
March 22, 2012
Shortly after the release of my March 16, 2012, Pecan Market Update, it was brought to my attention that there was an error in my calculations relative to Total Supply. After correcting the error, the supply situation shapes up as follows:
|2011 US Crop (USDA estimate)||271,400,000|
|2011 Net Imports from Mexico (est.)||120,000,000|
|Less 2012 Net Consumption (est.)||380,000,000|
|2011 Carryout (est.)||106,507,000|
I apologize for any confusion.
March 16, 2012
On Thursday, March 15, 2012, the USDA NASS released the long awaited 2011 preliminary crop summary. As expected, their estimate of the 2011 Pecan crop was revised upwards from 251.7 million pounds (inshell basis) to 271.4 million pounds. Normally this type of an increase would lead to a weakening in the market, however, based on higher than anticipated shipments out of Georgia in the months of December and January, many within the industry had already assumed a crop of approximately 270 to 285 million pounds. As such, market prices have already adjusted to reflect the anticipated increase.
February 23, 2012
On Tuesday the National Pecan Sheller's Association released their best guestimate of the 2011 Pecan crop estimating the crop to be 280.5 million pounds (inshell basis). That figure is slightly higher than the October USDA estimate of 251.7 million pounds but is within reason considering that Georgia appears to have produced about 20 to 30 million pounds more than originally anticipated. If so, and with the larger Mexican crop, it would appear that total supply will be only slightly less than last year. Because most contracts were written at levels below those of last year, consumption should remain strong with China expected to consume about 25% more product than they did in 2011.
January 24, 2012
On Friday, January 20, 2012, the USDA released the December Cold Storage figures. While the November figures were lowered slightly indicating a little better consumption than originally indicated, the December figures still show sufficient inventories to handle current consumption.
November 10, 2011
Almond shipments for October 2011 set another record. According to the October Position Report that was released only moments ago, the industry shipped over 219.5 million pounds in October; over 30 million pounds more than last year's October shipments. As such, prices will probably continue to firm as the industry trys to get a better handle on the actual size of the crop and catch up on orders. Sizes are still very small with one Sheller advising me that of the first 5 million pounds of product processed, less than 80,000 lbs sized out at 18/20 and less than 150,000 lbs sized out as 20/22.
November 09, 2011
As predicted in my October Pecan Crop Update, the industry carried almost 96 million pounds of the 2010 crop into 2011. While the bulk of the carry out was made up of meal, midgets, small pieces and off grades, most of which is not in great demand, it is still product that needs to be sold. As such, barring some unforeseen natural disaster, should the crop come in as currently forecast, this is how the supply situation shapes up:
August 25, 2011
While some segments of the Pecan industry like to discount the governments Cold Storage reports, statistically speaking, history has shown them to be a fairly good predictor of future market trends. On Monday, August 22, 2011, the USDA released their July Cold Storage report, and for the first time since November 2011, the meat inventory showed a significant decline over the prior month. Further, on an inshell converted basis, July's shipments were also more in line with historical averages. Based on the raw data, overall consumption is down only 12%. When one takes into account the governments double counting of the Pecans going to and coming from Mexico, the actual figure is closer to 18%.
July 08, 2011
In another example as to why the Pecan Industry needs to develop a better way to collect crop information, the USDA released their final 2010 Pecan Crop Estimate raising their preliminary estimate from 259.66 million pounds (inshell basis) to 293.74 million pounds; almost a 12% increase thereby making the 2010 crop only 2.7% less than 2009's 302 million pound crop. Based on today's figures, it would appear that consumption is running about 19% behind last year's record numbers. Further, it would also appear that the alternate bearing cycle of the trees has changed.
July 06, 2011
The USDA released their 2011 Objective Almond Crop Estimate today projecting a 1.95 billion pound crop (kernel basis) based on 750,000 producing acres. This figure is 11% ( 200 million pounds) higher than the May Subjective Estimate and 19% higher than last year's crop. While many within the industry felt that the May estimate was on the low side, the 1.95 billion pound figure was a bit of a surprise. While it will take a few days for the market to digest the new information, overseas markets have already started to exert some downward pressure on prices. However, even with the larger than expected figure, it does not change the fact that the crop is running several weeks late and could result in a harvest that starts even later than last year's did.
June 20, 2011
As has become tradition, the Louisiana Growers are usually the first group to try and put a figure on the upcoming Pecan crop. Even though their estimate comes out very early in the season, over the past few years their track record has been pretty good. This year, due to adverse weather during the early part of the growing season throughout much of the Pecan belt, many within the industry did not expect this year's 'on year' crop to be much above historical averages. Most felt that the crop would be in the range of the 2009 'on year' crop of 301 million pounds, give or take 10 million pounds.
June 13, 2011
Record May shipments and a late crop have caused most sellers to pull back while they evaluate their positions. Based on May shipment figures, the industry shipped almost 42% more almonds in May 2011 than they did a year ago.
About the same time, the Almond Board announced that they were pushing back the release date for their quantitative crop estimate to July 6th because the crop has not matured enough due to milder than expected weather during the first half of the year. Some within the industry have indicated that the crop could be as late as, or possibly even later than, last year's crop.
March 28, 2011
Based on the latest USDA Cold Storage Report, it would appear that at this time, record market prices have not adversely impacted demand. While demand from China has temporarily slowed, meat shipments continue to be very strong to the domestic market. As expected, there are shortages of Mammoth, Jr Mammoth and Jumbo Halves, as well as Large and Medium Pieces; however, Shellers do not appear to be having any problems supplying their customers. Although it is still too early to say how the higher prices will impact consumption later in the Spring and into the Summer, Spot buyers may have difficulty getting adequate supplies as new crop approaches.
January 24, 2011
This past Friday, two significant figures were released by the USDA, National Ag Statistics Service. The first, and most significant, was the revision to the final 2009 Pecan Crop figures. From a background standpoint, when the final figures were released by the USDA last July, they put the 2009 Georgia Pecan Crop at 90 million pounds.
December 10, 2010
As expected, the USDA revised downward their estimate of the 2010 Pecan crop to 258.3 million pounds (Inshell basis) from their previous estimate of 271.3 million. Using the revised estimate, the supply situation is shaping up as follows:
December 09, 2010
The Almond Board released the November shipment figures today indicating another record month of shipments; 173.4 million pounds (kernel basis) shipped in November 2010 versus 145.5 million pounds shipped in November 2009. For the year, 639.2 million pounds have been shipped versus 571.5 million pounds in 2009. While it is still to early to determine the long term impact of today's figures, prices will probably firm in the short term in what is already a very tight market. With Almonds being the cheapest nut in the overall nut basket (excluding peanuts), supplies could get even tighter in the weeks ahead as buyers look for cheaper alternatives to other higher priced nuts.
December 01, 2010
Based on recently released October Cold Storage figures, even with a later than normal start to the 2010 harvest, the industry shipped approximately 25 million pounds (inshell basis) of product during the month. Using revised September 2010 figures, the supply situation is shaping up as follows:
October 28, 2010
On Friday, October 22, 2010 the USDA released the September 2010 Cold Storage report indicating that almost 25 million pounds (inshell basis) of Pecans shipped during the month. This is in line with historical disappearance for the month of September but a little lower than what many within the industry had expected based on heavier than expected demand. Based on this figure, it would appear that consumption in 2009/2010 reached a record 457.5 million pounds (inshell basis). Subtracting approximately 21.6 million pounds of inshell that was shipped to Mexico for shelling and resale in the US, net consumption also set a new record of approximately 435.9 million pounds. The figures are as follows:
October 14, 2010
This past Friday the USDA released the first official estimate for the 2010 Pecan crop estimating the crop to be 271.3 million pounds (inshell basis). This figure is very close to the Louisiana Grower's estimate of 274.3 million pounds and not far from the 280.5 million pounds estimated by the National Pecan Sheller's Association. Assuming that the estimate is correct, this is how the supply situation shapes up:
September 03, 2010
July 21, 2010
The Texas Pecan Growers Association released their 2010 Pecan Crop Estimate last week projecting a crop of 292 million pounds (inshell basis). If correct, the 2010 'off-year' crop would be the largest ever and would be larger than the 2009 'on-year' crop. A month ago the Tri-State Growers surprised many within the industry when they projected a 2010 crop of 274 million pounds so the latest estimate was great news for an industry that had faced the possibility of having to try to market $6.00/lb Pecans. The latest figure, if correct, would not eliminate the current shortage but would go a long way to preventing higher prices later this fall and into the 2011 contracting season. Based on current estimates, this is how the supply situation shapes up:
July 08, 2010
Yesterday the USDA released their final figures for the 2009 Pecan Crop. Based on data submitted by both Shellers and Growers, the USDA estimated the 2009 crop to be 291,830,000 pounds (inshell basis). This is only a slight increase over their January 2010 estimate of 290,500,000 pounds. As such, it will probably have little impact on current prices. Supplies are still very limited, and as such, prices remain very firm. Based on current estimates for the 2010 US and Mexican crops, the industry appears to be about 60 million pounds short of what will be needed to handle current consumption. With new crop Walnut and Almond prices expected to be considerably lower than that of Pecans, buyers will have plenty of substitution options in the coming year.
June 23, 2010
The Tri-State Pecan Growers, members of the Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas Growers Associations, released the first of the 2010 Pecan Crop estimates this past Friday at the conclusion of their annual meeting in Vicksburg, MS. To everyone's surprise, the group forecast the 2010 crop to be 274.5 million pounds. While weather conditions have been very favorable, and many within the industry had projected a larger than average 'off-year' crop, if this figure turns out to be correct, it would be the largest 'off-year' crop ever. In the face of historically high prices, severe shortages of many meat items and record consumption, this is excellant news after experiencing a smaller than expected 2009 'on-year' crop. While not eliminating the projected 2010/2011 meat shortages, the addit
June 10, 2010
A weak Euro and the default of a major European trader have helped to weaken the Almond market. For the first time in months, Almond shipments were down from year ago levels (from 119.4 million pounds in June 2009 to 91.9 millions pounds in June 2010). As such, prices have also fallen. While Standard Sheller Run 5% are now trading below $2.00/lb, growers and processers are not too eager to write long term contracts as most expect prices to move higher once the Euro stabilizes and a better assesment of the size of the 2010 crop is made. At the moment, due to mild weather, the crop appears to be late causing the Almond Board to move back their June 30th objective estimate to July 8th.
March 15, 2010
As expected, the Chinese continue to set new purchasing records for both inshell and shelled Pecans. Based on FAS figures released last week for the 2009 crop year to date (August 1, 2009 - January 31, 2010), the Chinese have already purchased almost 63 million pounds of Pecans (inshell basis); 10 million pounds more than last year's record purchases. With six months of purchases yet to be tabulated, there is no doubt that the Chinese will purchase close to 30% of the US crop. In addition, it would appear that some of the inshell shipped to China was shelled and then brought back to the US for resale.
February 26, 2010
February 17, 2010
Based on the most recent Foreign Ag Statistics Service data, between August 1, 2009, and December 31, 2009, Pecan shipments to China hit a new record; up 300% over the same period a year ago. Further, more product was shipped during that period than was shipped during the entire 2008 crop year. Having purchased 27% of the 2008 US crop, it is highly probable that they will purchase an even larger percentage of this year's crop. When combined with their estimated purchases from Mexico, it is not unreasonable to assume that they will have purchased approximately 25% of the total world supply of Pecans.
December 16, 2009
This past Friday, as expected, the USDA reduced their estimate of the 2009 Pecan Crop to 301.2 million pounds (inshell basis) from their previous estimate of 309.2 million pounds. Based on current projections, this is how the supply situation shapes up:
October 27, 2009
October 12, 2009
The USDA released the first of their 2009 Pecan Crop estimates this past Friday estimating the crop to be 309.2 million pounds (inshell basis). If this figure is correct, when one combines it with an estimated 2008 carryout of 85 million pounds and the140 million pounds of Mexican inshell that is expected to cross the border, total supply can be expected to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 534 million pounds. With consumption currently running between 415 and 435 million pounds, this will leave approximately 110 million pounds to carry into the 2010 'off-year' crop. For a significant part of the current crop year, the industry has experienced a shortage of Mammoth, Jr.
September 15, 2009
The National Pecan Sheller's Association completed their semi-annual meeting this past weekend with their estimate of the 2009 Pecan Crop. Based on their member estimates, they expect the 2009 US Pecan crop to be around 347 million pounds (inshell basis). Should the crop come in as they project, the supply situation could shape up as follows (figures are millions of pounds inshell):
July 16, 2009
July 14, 2009
Today the Texas Pecan Growers concluded their annual meeting with their estimate of the 2009 Pecan Crop. As usual, estimates were provided by both Kenneth Pape and Kyle Brookshier. Based on their figures, the supply situation could shape up as follows:
June 23, 2009
This past Friday, June 19, 2009, the Tri-State (Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas) Pecan Producer's Association concluded their annual meeting with the first crop estimate of the season. While it is still very early in the growing cycle, and while the estimates provided for several of the states could be debated, the overall estimate of 299 million pounds is certainly in line with what many within the industry expected to see. When one considers the larger than average size of the previous two crops, the potential damage caused by the April freeze in East Texas and the copious amounts of rain that have fallen in the Southeast, it is hard to argue with the current estimate. As stated in the April Pecan Crop Update, since 1990, the average 'on-year' crop has been approximately 329 mi
While there was a large inshell dissappearance in March, don't expect prices to go through the roof.
April 24, 2009
Based on the March Cold Storage holdings, it would appear that consumption is running well ahead of expectations. The March release showed an overall decline in the Cold Storage figures of over 19 million pounds (inshell basis), well ahead of historical figures for the same period.
January 23, 2009
The USDA released their final estimate for the 2008 Pecan crop today. Based on currently available information, the total supply for
2008/2009 shapes up as follows:
December 19, 2008
This past Friday, December 12, 2008, the USDA released the second of its 2008 Pecan crop estimates reducing their estimate of this year's crop to 189.06 million pounds (inshell basis). As such, the supply situation shapes up as follows (figures are expressed on an inshell basis in millions of pounds):
October 13, 2008
On Friday, October 10, 2008, the USDA released the first of its 2008 Pecan crop estimates estimating this year's crop to be 204 million pounds (inshell basis). This is in line with the estimate released by the National Pecan Shellers Association two weeks ago (203.75 million pounds) and in line with earlier grower estimates. As such, the supply situation shapes up as follows (figures are expressed on an inshell basis in millions of pounds):
July 30, 2008
The National Pecan Shellers Association (NPSA) announced that effective August, 1, 2008, it will begin to use a higher percentage factor to convert meats to inshell when estimating how many pecans are available in the marketplace. For decades the industry has used the standard conversion rate of 40% to convert meats to inshell and visa-versa. However, with advances in farm technology and the proliferation on higher yielding improved varieties, it became apparent that the conversion rate needed to be modified. In an effort to more accurately report inventory data relative to average pecan yield, the NPSA surveyed its 27 Sheller members regarding average yield and mill loss over a six year period. A six year time frame was used to take into account the on and off year nature of Pecan
July 10, 2008
Although the USDA did not calculate the 2007 crop to be as large as many had anticipated (or believe it to have been), the final figure of 385.3 million inshell pounds made this the second largest crop ever. Based on current FAS import/export data, 2007/2008 total supply shapes up as follows:
May 07, 2008
February 07, 2008
The Almond market has continued to be slow and soft for the past month with prices drifting down about $0.10/lb. Today the Almond Board released its Position Report showing record January shipments of 94 million lbs, 14% more than last January. Year to date shipments are also 14% ahead of a year ago and right on schedule to leave a carryout of about 230 million lbs, a volume considered necessary to avoid crop year transition shortages as have been experienced in the recent past. Crop deliveries are up to 1.357 billion lbs. Buyers have been slow to cover future almond needs due to the declining market in hopes of gaining further discounts as prices weaken. Buyers may also be responding to general financial market concerns and not buying too far ahead. Industry attention is now focu