Pecan Prices Near Record Levels

January 08, 2016

Weather continues to create problems for the pecan harvest.  Heavy persistent rains throughout the growing region, severe flooding and most recently a heavy snowfall in the southwest (some areas received as much as 18 inches) have turned what many had projected to be a promising on-year crop into an average crop at best. As a result, prices in the field continue to climb and are now nearing the record levels of 2010 and 2011.

Based on recently released Foreign Ag Statistics data and the December Cold Storage holdings, consumption continued to be strong through November.  However, while the FAS data indicated slight increases in both total worldwide shipments and total shipments to China, both China’s percentage of total product shipped (inshell basis), and percentage of the total inshell pounds shipped, were down.  With the recent currency manipulating of the Chinese banks and the dramatic slowing of the Chinese economy, this could be the beginning of a much deeper decline.

The smaller than anticipated size of the crop has also led to higher meat prices.  Overall market prices are now approaching 2010 and 2011 levels with pieces seeing the greatest increase; 46% higher than the same period a year ago (see 1/4/16 pdf under 'Market Conditions' on Crop Statistics Page).  While it may be too early to draw comparisons to the 2010/2011 crop year, when one considers the current prices of both walnuts and almonds, the probable decline in exports to China and the ensuing decline in overall consumption, the implementation of an industry-wide marketing order can’t come soon enough. Our customers deserve better.