November Cold Storage Holdings; the Second Largest for a November Ever

December 23, 2016

Based on the October FAS export figures, overall consumption continues to be down; currently running about 11% below the same period a year ago. The report also shows that shipments to China were down.  However, because the harvest started so late, that was not much of a surprise. Based on conversations with several major exporters in Georgia, the November export numbers should show a significant increase.

With respect to product coming across the border, as of December 21st, Mexico has already shipped over 127 million net pounds (inshell basis) to the US; a net increase of 24.7%.  Back in September, the Mexican Growers had projected a crop of approximately 270 million pounds.  Based on current shipments, and with eight months to go before the end of the export year, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Mexico will match last year’s exports.

As for the US crop, while some within the industry continue to express concern that the crop is smaller than originally projected, there is still no indication that it is significantly smaller than the October USDA estimate of 262.7 million pounds.  Today’s release of the November Cold Storage Holdings does nothing to dispel that assumption.  At 152.7 million pounds (inshell basis), there are 37.4 million pounds more pecans in cold storage than there was a year ago. If the figures hold, it would be the second largest November ever, surpassed only by November 2008.

History has shown that one of the biggest problems for the pecan industry has been new entrants with deep pockets and little or no knowledge of the industry.  Given the current prices being paid for inshell, every pound that can be brought to market will.  There is no doubt that the next few months are going to be very interesting. As NY Yankee legend Yogi Berra once quoted, “It’s like Deja Vu all over again.”