USDA Releases Its 2012 Pecan Crop Estimate

October 12, 2012

Based on yesterday’s USDA Crop estimate, it would appear that the National Pecan Sheller’s Association estimate of 309 million pounds (inshell basis) was ‘spot on.’ The USDA has estimated the 2012 crop to be 308.6 million pounds. Assuming that this figure is correct, and barring any natural disasters, the supply situation shapes up as follows:


2011 Carry-Out (estimate)


US Crop (USDA estimate)


Mexican Imports (estimate)


Total Supply (estimate)

2012/2013 Consumption (estimate)

2012 Carry-out (estimate)







*The above figures do not include production in Australia and South Africa the bulk of which is consumed in the respective countries or exported to China

**2011 Consumption was approximately 395 million pounds (inshell basis)


For an industry that has experienced a significant drop in consumption over the past two years due to historically high prices, this is excellent news. Prices have finally fallen back to levels where both domestic and international customers feel comfortable buying again. This can be seen in the increased shipments overseas, especially to China, as well as the increased interest from domestic buyers. Due to significantly shorter almond, walnut and pistachio crops, and the corresponding price increases, pecans will be one of the best nut values in the coming year. At the moment, inshell walnuts are selling at almost the same level as inshell pecans. The last time this happened, there was a significant shift to pecans, both domestically and internationally, resulting in a commensurate increase in pecan consumption. While there are a couple of Pecan Shellers who seem intent on giving away their inventory (BUYER BEWARE), based on current market conditions, it would appear that even with the larger than expected supply, there are enough pecans to handle anticipated demand without leaving an excessive carryout going into the 2013 crop.

On another note, for those of you who have not visited our website recently, we have added a new feature on the 'Pecan Crop Statistics' and 'Pecan Consumption' pages; 'Market Conditions.' I have added downloadable pdf files containing current export information. If you haven't logged on before, there is no cost to access the data. All you need to do is register, enter your password (we cannot see it) and download the graphs that interest you.


As usual, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 630-377-2628.