Nuts

Pecans: interesting import development in Germany

December 13, 2023 at 2:24 PM , Der AUDITOR
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ATLANTA. Adverse weather conditions have presented pecan growers in the USA and Mexico with considerable challenges this year and have also had a noticeable impact on the crop. Meanwhile, German imports show a completely different picture than a year ago.

Differing weather conditions in the USA

As the experts at Chelmer Foods report, there were delays with the early-season pecan varieties in the New Mexico and Arizona growing regions due to the high temperatures. However, cooler temperatures at the beginning of December then ensured that the shaking process for the harvest was made easier. The weather also plays a key role in Texas and Oklahoma, where farmers have had to contend with wet weather conditions after a long dry spell, making the harvesting process more difficult. This has led to both crop losses and poorer quality. Overall, however, the US crop is said to be of good quality, even though some of the nuts were smaller. Hurricane Idalia caused challenges in the south-east and the crop volume is likely to be lower than initially estimated.

China's purchases support prices

According to Chelmer Foods, the crop in Mexico has also fallen short of expectations, with quality also showing deficiencies here and there. High temperatures and insufficient rainfall have had a negative impact here, as well as late rains, which briefly led to a complete interruption of the harvest process. In the Mexican state of Chihuahua, only around 50% of the crop was said to have been harvested by the beginning of December.

Prices for North American pecans are remaining relatively stable, not least due to high demand from China. The Asian country has significantly increased its purchases of in-shell pecans, which is partly due to the smaller crop in South Africa. Chinese purchases are having an impact on market dynamics, and market experts expect the coming weeks to bring more clarity on price trends.

Mexico overtakes the USA when it comes to German imports

German pecan imports have also undergone interesting developments. In the period September-October 2023, Mexico was by far the most important supplier, displacing the USA in second place in a year-on-year comparison. Mexico was able to increase its shipments to Germany by a whopping 407.8%, while the USA recorded a decline of 65.1%. South Africa also suffered heavy losses, as did the Netherlands. Australia did not ship any pecans to Germany in the period mentioned.

Pecan* imports, Germany,  in mt

Supplier

2022/23

2023/24

Diff.

Mexico

141

716

407.8%

USA

1,127

393

-65.1%

South Africa

51

36

-29.4%

Peru

0

24

n/a

Netherlands

53

24

-54.7%

Australia

67

0

-100.0%

Others

11

4

-63.6%

Total

1,450

1,197

-17.4%

Federal Statistical Office of Germany / Sep-Oct

*08029910 Fresh or dried pecans

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