Nuts

Pecans: dent in figures but high hopes

April 29, 2024 at 12:38 PM , Der AUDITOR
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FORT WORTH/REUS. US exports are 15% down for pecans. Hopes are up that India will step up buying in the USA. Global production has declined by 15%.

US exports 15% down

March exports slumped by 61% to 2.6 million pounds for shelled pecans this year as compared with the 6.6 million pounds registered in March last year. Total US pecan exports range 15% lower than last season for September 2023 to March 2024. Shipments to nearly all top ten destinations are down with the noted exception of Israel, the Netherlands and Vietnam.

Despite shipments to Canda witnessing a 9% decline, the neighbouring country has remained the most important export destination for the US. Israel has stepped up US imports by 24% and the Netherlands by 21%. Besides China, which has doubled its import of inshell pecans this season (+101% to 38,987,218 pounds), it should be noted that Mexico (532,695 pounds), Lebanon (91,225 pounds) and Canada (11,000 pounds) have also imported inshell pecans.

US pecan exports (1,000 lbs)

Destination

2022/23

2023/24

Diff.

Canada

4,899

3,954

-9.3%

Israel

1,949

2,409

23.6%

Netherlands

1,539

1,857

20.7%

South Korea

1,503

1,398

-7.0%

UK

1,572

1,185

-24.7%

Saudi Arabia

1,474

1,053

-28.6%

France

1,321

809

-38.8%

Lithuania

537

387

-28.0%

Vietnam

210

334

59.0%

Japan

393

321

-19.4%

Others

5,607

4,100

-26.9%

Total

21,004

17,807

-15.3%

American Pecan Council, shelled 01/09-31/03

Global production declines by 8%

As the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) reports China was mainly interested in Georgia Desirable and Stuarts in January and prompted to step back into the scene in the US due to shortcomings in the South African crop and quality issues in Sonora in Mexico. Unusually mild weather conditions delayed harvesting in the US by two to four weeks and the crop turned out to be 2% smaller. Yet, the US has surpassed Mexico as leading producer.

Mexico witnessed a 10% production decline driven by record-high temperatures and a lack of water. High production costs, in addition, resulted in poor management, which further reduced production and quality issues reduced yields by 5-10%. Contrary to this, China enjoyed sufficient rainfall before and after bloom and favourable weather conditions during harvesting, which prompted production to surge by 33%. As farmers have improved management proceedings in recent years yields have risen and cultivation is expected to increase by around 10% every year. Brazil also witnessed a sharp 50% rise in production. Global in-shell production, however, ranges 8% lower than last year.

Global pecan production, in-shell basis (mt)

Country

2022/23

2023/24

Diff.

USA

125,964

123,129

-2.3%

Mexico

136,079

122,471

-10.0%

South Africa

31,079

22,000

-29.3%

China

4,500

6,000

33.3%

Brazil

3,000

4,500

50.0%

Argentina

2,500

2,500

0.0%

Australia

2,950

2,400

-18.7%

Others

3,500

3,600

2.8%

Total

310,339

286,600

-7.7%

Argentine Pecan Committee and other INC sources
INC March 2024

High hopes in the US

As Pecan Report states the growing season has just kicked in and farmers have started spraying the trees in the southeastern parts of the United States. First estimates will be issued once growing has progressed. Since India has lowered tariffs for US pecans hopes are also up that exports will receive a boost, notably in New Mexico the second largest producing state in the US after Georgia. Production may have surged here this year but upbeat reports blend out the fact that quality is an issue.

 

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