USDA FAS Corrects US Pecan Export Data for 2016 & 2017 Exports to China and Mexico

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  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.

On Thursday, March 22nd, the USDA released the February Cold Storage holdings.  While there was some concern that the figure had jumped 30-million pounds (inshell basis), similar increases occurred in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016.  Adding to the concern is the fact that the differential between January 2016 and January 2017 was approximately 21 million pounds while that differential was only 7 million pounds by the end of February.  Yes, some of the decrease can be explained by the amount of product coming from Mexico (approximately 8 million pounds in February); however, either there were a lot more pecans out there than anticipated or consumption has slowed. With recent industry estimates placing the crop closer to 305 million pounds rather than the 277.4 million projected by the USDA, it would appear that the former is probably the reason. Shipments continue to be good and China continues to be interested in purchasing US inshell, if the price makes sense.

As for Mexico, over 161 million pounds have come across the border through March.  While this is behind last year’s record, this differential is also shrinking.  In December, 2017 shipments trailed 2016 by approximately 35.5 million pounds; 35.4% less product had crossed the border.  Today that differential is 27.3 million pounds; only 16.8% behind last year.  Why?  Either China purchased considerably less from Mexico or the Mexican crop was also larger than anticipated.  Either way, there should be plenty of pecans to handle projected demand.

Finally, while the hallmark of a certain Georgia pecan blog has been the publication of inaccurate and totally misleading information, last week’s edition sunk to a new low.  Filled with spurious misrepresentations, total fabrications and flat-out lies, the blog has become an embarrassment to the industry. While there are a number of remedies available to deal with the libelous language it contained, as long as the industry continues to read such tripe, nothing will change.  The solution is very easy; just click ‘unsubscribe!’