Pecan Consumption Continues at Record Pace

November 27, 2013


Last Friday’s revised September 30, 2013 Cold Storage figures showed a carryout of 175 million pounds (inshell basis). While this is slightly lower than last month’s figures, when added to recent US and Mexican crop projections, there should still be more than enough pecans to handle current consumption.

Contrary to a recent New York Times article claiming that higher prices and tighter supplies would keep most consumers from making pecan pies for Thanksgiving, nothing could be further from the truth.  Consumption is running at a record pace. Ninety-six million pounds (inshell basis) were shipped in the months of September and October alone and worldwide consumption continues to be strong.

Yes, the US Crop is about two-thirds the size of last year’s crop, but the large carryout and an expected reduction in shipments to China means that there will be plenty of shelled meats available to help re-establish a long suffering domestic market. 

Have prices moved higher, ‘yes’ but only to the levels they should have been last year.  While there is still one Sheller who seems intent on bankrupting the shelling industry, if not himself, the higher prices of walnuts, almonds and pistachios means that the industry does not have to give away the store to be competitive. After several years of significant losses, the Shelling industry stands to reclaim many of the markets it has lost over the past five years if it can show some restraint in how they purchase their inshell and how they price their 2014 contracts.  Consumption is the key, and with record almond, walnut and pistachio prices, pecans should continue to be the preferred nut.

As usual, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 630-879-5200