Beginning October 1, Based on the New Marketing Order, All Meats will be Converted at a Shell-out of 50%

December 07, 2017

On July 31, 2008, the National Pecan Sheller’s Association changed the meat-to-inshell conversion rate from 40%, the rate that had been used by the industry for decades, to 44% to more accurately reflect the increased production of higher yielding improved variety pecans.  During the development process of the American Pecan Council (APC), the committee members recommended that the industry move to a 50% conversion rate to more accurately reflect the average meat yield of the varieties in production today.  That proposed conversion rate became official with the approval of the new marketing order and creation of the American Pecan Council.  While the USDA crop year runs from October 1 through September 30, the marketing order created a reporting year of September 1 through August 31.  To better facilitate the comparison of data from crop year to crop year, Nature’s Finest Foods utilized the 44% conversion rate for all the 2016 crop year data (NASS, Cold Storage, FAS, Market News, etc.).  Beginning with the 2017 crop year/October 2017 Cold Storage figures, we will report all meat-to-inshell conversion data utilizing the newly established 50% conversion rate (i.e. for calculating consumption, cold storage holdings, imports/exports, carry-out, etc.).  However, unless otherwise noted, we will continue to report all pecan data based on a USDA/Department of Commerce crop year, NOT the APC reporting year.  For the next twelve months, where references are made to 2016 data, we will convert the 2016 data to the new 50% conversion rate to insure ‘apples to apples’ comparisons.

The USDA Cold Storage Holdings for October were released today.  Assuming that the numbers are correct, not adding anything for the seven states excluded from the USDA estimate and applying the 50% meat-to-inshell conversion rate, the supply situation shapes-up as follows:

2017 Carry-In                                                           140,629,000

2017 USDA Estimate (8 Largest States)               277,400,000

2017 Net Mexican Imports (NFF estimate)         180,000,000

2017 Total (estimate)                                              598,029,000*

*Note: 2016 Total Supply was approximately 631,366,000 million pounds (50% meat-to-inshell conversion rate). 

While the harvest continues to progress well, unanticipated shortages of natives in Louisiana, east Texas and Oklahoma have raised some concerns relative to the USDA estimate.  Based on currently available data, the 2017 total supply already appears to be approximately 33 million pounds less than 2016.   Any additional reductions will not help the industry as it attempts to regain lost consumption due to two years of high prices.  However, it is important to remember that the USDA estimate left out production from seven states, states which normally account for 5 to 10% of the overall production.  Further, due to China’s alternate buying patterns, they are not expected to import quite as many pecans as they did a year ago.  The bottom line, 2017 supply should be similar to 2016 thereby affording the industry an opportunity to bring prices more into line with historical levels.