Demand exceeds supply
As Pecan Report states, pecan stocks in the USA continue to shrink steadily. Demand is high as the nuts are in high demand both domestically and internationally as an ingredient in candy, baked goods and other snacks. They are said to help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. The American Pecan Council collects data from pecan producers across the US; they are showing a significant decline in the current season, and it doesn't look any better for the next season as trees are in an "off-year" after a good crop, so yields are expected to be lower.
Fewer imports from Mexico
Farmers are trying to compensate for the growing demand by increasing the size of their plantations. However, since it takes years for the trees to bear fruit, this increase in production is slow. This, combined with declining stocks, is likely to lead to further tightening of pecan supplies very soon, according to Pecan Report. Added to this is the annual hurricane season in the southeast of the USA, which regularly leads to crop damage. Since the devastating Hurricane Micheal in 2018, US stocks have not yet been able to fully recover and have had to be regularly balanced with imports from Mexico. Since the American Pecan Promotion Board introduced an import assessment for pecans, US traders are importing less, which is further fuelling the shortage.