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.