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Pecans: China buys stunning volumes

February 19, 2024 at 12:14 PM , Der AUDITOR
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FORT WORTH/ATLANTA. Supplies are tight for pecans. US exports are down. China has bought record volumes this season.

USDA purchases to support market

US growers have mainly wrapped up the season. Although initially upbeat about production prospects in Oklahoma, adverse weather conditions and unattractive prices have prompted a downturn in output. Some growers will put their supplies into cold storage to fetch better prices later as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports. This is also the case in Arizona, where some volumes will be going into cold storage until prices change after the Easter holidays. USDA figures for December, however, indicate that cold storage supplies dropped to 129 million pounds of inshell pecans (50% shelled meats), the lowest since December 2005.

To support the market the USDA is currently purchasing 6.2 million lbs of pecan pieces. While sales are currently good for pecans yielding a meat volume of 50% or more in Arizona, buyers prefer to wait in Texas, where less volumes are available. General expectation is that prices will continue to rise throughout the spring. Supplies of pecan pieces and halves in good quality are already limited in the US.

US exports only 7% down

At 132 million pounds US crop receipts ranged 28% higher than last year’s 103 million pounds for September through to December. Yet, the number of substandard pecans received rose by 67% to 6.4 million pounds as compared with the 3.8 million pounds received last year due to hurricane damages in Georgia along with the hot summer and frost damages perceived in Oklahoma and Texas. Total (inshell basis) shipments have also declined by 4% to 157.2 million pounds as opposed to last year’s 163.5 million pounds. A total of 51.2 million pounds of shelled meats were shipped to the domestic market in 2023/2024 thereby ranging 6% lower than the 54.6 million pounds recorded last year.

Shelled meat exports declined by 7% to 9.5 million pounds. Exports to Canada and Israel, the two most important destinations, are 8% down. Contrary to this, shipments to South Korea have surged by 86%. Inshell exports have risen sharply to 22.4 million pounds as opposed to only 4.5 million pounds last year as China purchased a stunning 22.1 million pounds of inshell pecans, the highest volumes since trade tariffs struck in 2017/2018.

US pecan exports in 1,000 pounds

Destination

2022/23

2023/24

Diff.

Canada

3,038

2,770

-8.0%

Israel

1,144

1,052

-8.1%

South Korea

488

909

86.3%

Netherlands

523

611

16.8%

UK

1,268

593

-53.3%

Saudi Arabia

108

516

377.8%

France

407

433

6.4%

Lithuania

252

231

-8.4%

Japan

118

146

23.7%

UAE

84

144

71.4%

Others

2,862

2,132

-25.6%

Total

10,292

9,537

-7.4%

American Pecan Council, shelled, Sep-Dec

 

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