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Pecans: high risk in Europe

September 12, 2022 11:18 AM, Der AUDITOR
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ATLANTA/VALENCIA. With China beating about the bush hopes are that U.S. pecan exports will bounce back in 2022/2023. Yet, the American Pecan Council is pursuing a highly risky marketing strategy in Europe. US farmers are getting ready to harvest early varieties.

Slump in exports

After US exports hit record highs in 2020/2021 stocks were much depleted in 2021/2022. This contributed to the slump in exports in 2020/2021, which ranged 40% lower between September and July as recent figures issued by the American Pecan Council (APC) show. Suppliers are now hoping for a turnaround. Reports indeed indicate that China is very interested in buying pecans at present, especially since Chinese New Year will be celebrated a bit earlier. As Chinese New Year will take place in January, rather than in February as was the case in recent years, contracts will need to be concluded soon for supplies to be available in time.

US suppliers will, however, not directly profit form an upsurge in demand in China as comparatively high tariffs still apply for US pecans as Pecan Report states. The APC has also decided to end marketing activities in China due to the country’s strict zero-Covid strategy, which has forced millions of people into lockdown. China in fact slashed imports from the US by 73% between September and July as opposed to the same period in 2020/2021 leaving Canada to advance to the most important export destination for US pecans. Shipments to here have, however, also declined by 15%.

Although exports to Germany have slumped by 44%, the country is an important target market for the US. The APC has not only stepped up marketing here but throughout Europe. Trouble with Europe, however, is that the energy crises caused by Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine coupled with high inflation will limit demand, especially in winter. The sharpest decline in shipments has been witnessed in Mexico, which has cut imports from the US by more than 50%.

US pecan exports, in lbs, inshell basis

Destination

2020/2021

2021/2022

Diff.

Canada

16,695,745

14,123,618

-15.5%

China

43,227,949

11,544,655

-73.3%

Germany

12,282,660

6,910,444

-43.8%

UK

7,891,200

6,533,820

-11.3%

Netherlands

7,961,520

6,204,840

-22.1%

Israel

7,760,736

5,532,480

-28.8%

Mexico

6,033,916

2,771,028

-54.1%

South Korea

3,964,200

3,610,320

-9.0%

France

3,565,500

2,558,040

-28.3%

Saudi Arabia

1,965,230

1,535,040

-21.9%

Others

15,069,169

12,227,972

-19.9%

Total

126,417,825

73,552,257

-41.9%

American Pecan Council, 01 Sep-31 Jul

NASS to issue first forecast for pecans

Harvesting is about to start in the southeast US as growers are getting ready to shake trees carrying early pecan varieties. General anticipation is that this year’s crop will prove good in most places with the noted exception of Texas, where some dry areas have been reported according to Pecan Report. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will issue its very first crop production report for pecans with a more detailed assessment on 12 October, which underpins the industry’s economic relevance. Although domestic demand usually peaks in autumn, consumption has become more diversified in recent years as pecans have gained a more prominent place in household diets. Many buyers will also need to refill their stocks swiftly in the next few weeks. The prices for fancy pecan junior pieces currently range at USD 12.99/kg in Europe.

US pecans

Type

USD/kg

EUR/kg

Fancy junior, large pieces

12.99

12.95

Fancy junior, mammoth halves

13.80

13.76

FCA Valencia, Spain

 

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