Pecan Market Update

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%. While a one month change in shipments isn't enough to establish a trend, July's report may signal a bottoming relative to the loss of consumption.

On the export front, the USDA July 29, 2011, release of their Fruit & Tree Nuts Outlook reported that Pecan exports (on a shelled basis) were up 22% and that imports were also up 27.1%. On the surface, that is very encouraging. However, digging deeper into the numbers, while meat exports were up in Vietnam, Canada and the Netherlands, they were down dramatically to China, Hong Kong and a number of other major export destinations.  Overall, exports to China/Hong Kong/Vietnam are down 24% over the same period last year.  Further, based on USDA FAS data, 100% of the inshell Pecans that were exported to Mexico came back to the US in the form of Pecan meats.  As such, 100% of the increase in both imports and exports reported in the Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook can be attributed to the way in which the Government accounts for product going to and coming from Mexico.

As for the overall market, at the moment, supplies continue to remain tight. However, even with the smaller than expected size of the 2011 crop, there should be plenty of Pecans to handle demand at or near recent market levels.