News Archive

News Archive

So Who's Holding a Gun to Your Head?

December 19, 2017

A number of years ago, while attending a meeting of the National Pecan Sheller’s Association, I happened upon a large group of shellers who were complaining about high inshell prices.  Several times during the conversation, the discussion became rather heated.  At the prices they were being forced to pay, how would the industry be able to come up with enough money to buy the crop?  How would they be able to market them?  After all, the market had never reached such levels.  Surely the industry would suffer significant losses.  As I stood there and listened, Nick Sachs, one of the most market savvy and statistically knowledgeable brokers in the history of our industry, walked over and asked, “Did anyone hold a gun to your head?”   The conversation stopped.  You could have heard a pin dro

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.  T

The USDA Releases the September Cold Storage Holdings

October 23, 2017

The USDA Cold Storage Holdings for September were released today. The 2016 carry-out was 155.1 million pounds (inshell basis); 26 million pounds more than 2015.  Assuming that the numbers are correct, and not adding anything for the seven states excluded from the USDA estimate, the supply situation shapes-up as follows:

2017 Carry-In                                                            155,128,580

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

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

2017 Total (estimate)                                              612,528,580*

*Note: 2016 Total Supply was approximately 642,047 million pounds.  

USDA Releases their 2017 Pecan Crop Estimate

October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017

The USDA released their only 2017 pecan crop estimate today projecting a crop of 277.4 million pounds (inshell basis).  Assuming that number is correct, the supply situation shapes-up as follows:



2017 (est.)




US Crop


While Hurricane's Harvey & Irma Do Significant Damage to the Crop, Supplies Still Appear to Be Good

September 22, 2017

A lot has been said about the damage to the Texas and Georgia crops as a result of Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma, and while there was significant damage, especially to the Georgia crop, it could have been a lot worse.  It could take weeks to clean up the downed trees, broken branches, etc., and because the bulk of the destroyed trees were young, Georgia’s production will be impacted for years to come. Fortunately, the state was originally projected to have a good crop, and while the market did experience some firming in the days that followed, it now appears that even with the projected losses, pecan supplies will still be sufficient to handle projected consumption.


Concerns Over Mexican Crop Keep Market Firm in the Face of Projected Good 2017 Supply

August 23, 2017

To say that China’s entry into the pecan market has been a double-edged sword would be an understatement. Their appetite for large, high quality, high yielding inshell, and their willingness to pay exorbitantly high prices to get it, has not only reshaped the US pecan market but has led to increased pecan production, and competition, around the world. While the principle benefit has been to significantly improve returns to the grower, every pound on inshell headed to Hong Kong has meant one less pound that could have been sold to long-term US domestic customers. Based on the latest FAS figures, as well as the July Cold Storage holdings, the US domestic market again took a back seat to China.

Pecan Market Remains Firm Even With Record Mexican Imports

July 25, 2017

Yesterday’s release of the July Cold Storage figures contained nothing that should dramatically change current market pricing.  While overall inventories increased slightly over the same period a year ago, this is probably due to the record amount of product continuing to enter the US from Mexico.  As of July 23, 2017, Mexico had shipped over 233.3 million pounds of pecans to the US.  On a net basis, that equates to approximately 215 million pounds, or an increase of almost 30 million pounds (inshell basis) over the same period a year ago.  With Chinese demand continuing to dictate the market’s direction, and projections for a smaller than expected 2017 Mexican crop, prices will probably remain firm well into the fall.  Further, until Chinese buyers decide that pricing has gotten too hi

USDA Releases Final 2016 Pecan Crop Estimate - 268.77 Million Pounds (Inshell Basis)

June 28, 2017

The USDA released their annual Noncitrus Fruit and Nuts 2016 Summary a few weeks early this year.  Based on their survey figures, they estimate the 2016 crop to have been 268.77 million pounds, inshell basis, up from their October estimate of 262.7 million pounds.  Based on currently available information, the 2016 pecan supply (US & Mexico) was as follows:

2016 Carry-In                                            129,097,000

2016 US Crop                                            268,770,000

Mexican Imports (NET estimate)           218,000,000

2016 Total (estimate)                               615,867,000*

Tri-State Growers Forecast 292 Million Pound 2017 Pecan Crop as Consumption Continues to be Stronger than Expected

June 23, 2017

The past few weeks have been full of good news for the pecan industry.  Overall exports are up, overall exports to China are up, meat sales to China are up, and even with high pecan prices, overall pecan shipments continue to be good.  Further, while domestic consumption is still down 10.9% since 2015, it is only down 2% over the same period a year ago.  With walnut prices continuing to firm due to a tighter than expected supply, the consumption pendulum appears to be swinging back toward pecans.

Domestic Pecan Consumption Continues to Shrink in the Face of Increased Demand From China

May 22, 2017

Based on today’s release of the April Cold Storage Holdings, as well as currently available data, it would appear that overall pecan consumption is only down about 7%.  When one considers current pricing levels, and the fact that the industry lost about 10.5% consumption last year, this is considerably better than what had been expected.  As has been stated in several of my earlier newsletters, much of this can be attributed to China’s increased appetite for shelled meats. However, this continues a trend of increasing overseas shipments in the face of decreased domestic purchases.  Today’s release would seem to indicate that domestic consumption is down almost 14% over the same time a year ago amounting to a loss of almost 86 million pounds (inshell basis) in the past two years.

2016 Mexican Crop Sets New Record as China's Appetite for Shelled Pecans Contiues to Increase

May 08, 2017

Back in September, during their annual meeting, the Mexican pecan growers projected a 2016 crop of approximately 270 million pounds.  After two consecutive years of record crops, many within the industry greeted the estimate with skepticism even though it is common knowledge that plantings in Mexico continue at a robust pace.  This past Friday, May 5, 2017, the Mexican Agricultural Information Service released their official figures on the crop; 310.4 million pounds.  Not only is this another record crop, but it is also the third year in a row that Mexico has out-produced the US.

While Pecan Shipments Continue to be Good, US Domestic Consumption Continues to Fall

April 04, 2017

On Thursday, March 23, 2017, the National Pecan Sheller’s Association estimated the 2016 US Pecan Crop to be 286.7 million pounds (inshell basis).  Based on their figures, this is how the US supply shapes up:

2016 Carry-In                                           130,007,180

2016 US Crop (NPSA est.)                       286,725,000

Net Mexican Imports (NPSA est.)          190,000,000

Total (estimate)                                        606,732,180*

*Note: Net 2015 Total Supply – 561.8 million pounds

Pecan Prices Remain Firm Even With Near-Record Cold Storage Holdings

February 28, 2017

This past Thursday, the USDA released the January Cold Storage figures.  As has been the case for the past several months, supplies are still running well ahead of last year; 284.8 million pounds vs. 260.9 million pounds (inshell basis). While prices continue to be firm, there has been some weakening since December’s record levels.  However, with the exception of macadamias, pecans continue to be the highest priced tree nut in the market basket.  

USDA Releases December Cold Storage Data-Record Inventories & Record Prices

January 25, 2017

As the harvest slowly concludes in both Mexico and the US, demand continues to be good. As expected, exports to China were good through November; up approximately 40% over the same period a year ago.  Further, overall exports were also up.  However, all of the increase can be attributed to China.  What was most interesting in the FAS data released earlier this month was the large amount of meats shipped to China in both October and November.  One possible explanation; our crop was late and Chinese traders needed meats to satisfy their retail and ingredient users.  Why would this show-up now?