Pecan Consumption Nears 600 Million Pounds in the Face of Short Supply

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.)




US Crop



Mexican Imports



Total Supply









NOTE: Assumes a 50% meat to inshell conversion rate. 

For the first time in the history of the pecan industry, consumption could actually reach 600 million pounds.  Based on the most recent Cold Storage figures and APC reported commitments, supplies are extremely tight with most shellers unable to quote halves and reporting dwindling supplies of pieces.  Historically, days of available supply are near a 10-year low, down in the 25 percentile, and as indicated above, the industry could enter the upcoming crop with close to fifty million less pounds than it had a year ago.

With respect to the Mexican and S. African crops, both appear to be smaller than a year ago. According to the final US Customs figures, imports were down 12.1%, the lowest since 2016 and 2017.  Further, due to water issues, China may be forced to purchase more from the US than they have since the trade war started, even with the tariffs. The price gap between halves and pieces continues to decline, good news for an industry that has lost money for the past four years. As such, buyers should expect to see prices considerably higher than they have in the past few years.