Pecan Consumption Appears to Top 500 Million Pounds

August 06, 2015

While there are still two months to go in the 2014 crop year, it would appear to be a year of records for the Pecan industry; record overall consumption, record exports, record domestic consumption and record imports from Mexico.  Based on recently released import and export data, it would appear that for the first time ever, pecan consumption will top a half billion pounds (inshell basis).

2013 Carry-out                                    171,626,000

2014 US Crop                                      264,150,000

2014 Mexican Imports                       199,965,100

2014 Total Supply                               635,741,100

2014 Carry-Out (estimate)                 110,000,000

2014 Consumption (estimate)          525,741,100

*Note: 2013 Consumption was 444,498,000 lbs. (inshell basis)

Bear in mind that this figure does not include product shipped to buyers directly from Australia, South Africa or Mexico, or internal consumption in each.

Total exports should also set a new record at approximately 210 million pounds. While inshell shipments to China were up as expected, shipments of shelled pecans were up in almost every major market. With the price of almonds, filberts and pistachios expected to remain high throughout the coming year, should the 2015 US and Mexican crops come in as currently projected, pecans will continue to be a ‘best buy.’

However, the best news was the dramatic increase in US Domestic consumption.  Based on current figures, US consumption could top 315 million pounds; a new record and the highest domestic consumption since 2008.  This increase would not have been possible without the significant increase in product from Mexico. Because many US Growers prefer to ship to China rather than US Shellers, since 2007, increases in export shipments have come at the expense of domestic buyers.  If inshell and meat prices can be kept at reasonable levels, the expected increases in worldwide production should allow US domestic consumption to continue to grow.

The only downside; the significant increase in Mexican imports.  While the increase in US domestic consumption would not have been possible without the record shipments from Mexico, many of those shipments went directly to US Buyers bypassing an already suffering US Shelling industry.  US Shellers continue to be squeezed by excessive US Government regulations, wage increases, a lack of adequate capital, or access to it, and increased competition from outside of the US. Change is inevitable, and over the next few years, the US shelling industry can expect to see many more.

Finally, the Texas Pecan Growers concluded their annual meeting last month with their estimate of the upcoming 2015 crop.  They estimate the US crop to be somewhere around 327 million pounds, up from the 283 million pounds forecast by the Tri-State Growers a month earlier and significantly higher than the 2014 crop.  However, assuming a carry-out of 110 million pounds and imports from Mexico of approximately 180 million, total supply will probably be 20 to 30 million pounds less than 2014 levels.  While this should not be enough to send prices back to 2011 levels, buyers should not expect to see $4 pieces or $5 halves anytime soon.

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