Final USDA 2023 Pecan Crop Estimate 13% Higher Than Previously Forecast

May 28, 2024

Unbeknownst to many in the industry, on May 7th, the USDA NASS published the final 2023 US Pecan Crop estimate.  Based on their data, the 2023 crop was 306.75 million pounds (inshell basis), up 13% from the January preliminary estimate of 271.45 million pounds.  It is important to note that unlike the October, December and January estimates, the data for which is supplied solely by growers, the May estimate is a compilation of both grower and sheller data.  According to the report, the average price returned to the grower was $1.68 per pound ($1.73/lb on improved inshell, $0.97/lb on native inshell), down from the $1.80/lb returned in 2022 and the $2.16/lb returned in 2021.

As for the Cold Storage Holdings, this past Friday the USDA released their April figures indicating that the industry’s inventory did not change over the prior thirty days.  While inventories are still approximately 20 million pounds greater than a year ago, the days of available supply are still the second lowest since 2012.  While prices have continued their slow climb, they are still far below profitable levels for either growers or shellers.  Unfortunately, there are still a couple of shellers who believe that you can buy high and sell low and make up the difference on volume.  Markets have a way of correcting such situations. Unfortunately, everyone suffers in the meantime.

A PDF with several graphs, which should help to explain some of the dynamics behind the current market condition, can be downloaded from the Market Conditions tab on the statistics page of this websire.