News Archive

News Archive

Is the US Pecan Industry Headed Over Its Own 'Fiscal Cliff?'

December 11, 2012

A few years ago, during the course of contract negotiations with a major corporate buyer, the buyer said to me, ‘Why would anyone in their right mind want to be a Pecan Sheller? There is no money in it and it seems that the Shellers take great pleasure in trying to destroy each other regardless of the impact it has on the market, the growers or themselves.’ We find ourselves in just such a situation today.  Twice in the last twenty years one Sheller has tried to manipulate the market.

USDA Releases Its 2012 Pecan Crop Estimate

October 12, 2012

Based on yesterday’s USDA Crop estimate, it would appear that the National Pecan Sheller’s Association estimate of 309 million pounds (inshell basis) was ‘spot on.’ The USDA has estimated the 2012 crop to be 308.6 million pounds. Assuming that this figure is correct, and barring any natural disasters, the supply situation shapes up as follows:


September 2012 Pecan Crop and Market Update

September 26, 2012

Last week the National Pecan Sheller’s Association ended their annual meeting with their estimate of the upcoming Pecan crop.  At 309 million pounds (inshell basis), their estimate was the highest of the pre-harvest crop estimates.  Averaging their estimate with those of the Tri-State and Texas Growers, and barring any natural disasters, the supply situation shapes up as follows:

2011 Carry-Out (estimate)


US Crop (Av. of TX/Tri State/NPSA Estimates)


Almond, Walnut & Pistachio Harvest Update

August 31, 2012

Almonds: While many within the industry had projected a smaller 2012 Nonpareil crop, early harvest results have tended to show both lower yields and smaller sizes than expected. With the Nonpareil harvest about 50 to 60% complete, the average kernel size is estimated to be in 27/30 to 25/27 range.

The 2012 Pecan Crop-Challenges & Opportunities

August 07, 2012

Mother Nature has again thrown the Pecan industry another curve. Based on recent Grower estimates, it would appear that this year's 'off-year' crop could actually be larger than last year's 'on-year' crop. While the harvest is still several months away, and whether the current supply pattern is simply a fluke or a change in the alternate bearing cycle of the trees, over the past four years the crop has not varied by more than 24 million pounds from one year to the next.

USDA Final 2011 Crop Estimate

July 08, 2012

On Friday, July 6, 2012, the USDA published the final crop figures for the 2011 Pecan Crop. Based on their survey, the 2011 US Pecan Crop topped out at 269.7 million inshell pounds. This is only 1.7 million pounds less than their March 2012 revised estimate, and as such, will have little impact on the market.

Pecan Market Update

June 22, 2012

The Tri-State Growers concluded their annual meeting last week with the release of the season's first 2012 Pecan Crop estimate. Based on input from their members, they are projecting a 2012 crop of 265 million pounds (inshell basis). When one considers the severe drought conditions experienced throughout the pecan belt last year and the fact that the average 'off-year' crop is generally somewhere around 190 to 200 million pounds, this is a very encouraging number. Assuming that the crop comes in as projected, and barring any natural disasters, the supply situation shapes up as follows:

Pecan Market Update

May 25, 2012

Based on the recent Cold Storage Report, it would appear that the severe drought that plagued the industry last year is still having an adverse impact on the Pecan market. The recently released figures indicate that worldwide Pecan consumption is off by almost ten percent. While the record high prices of last summer and fall certainly played a part in the drop, the effects of the drought continue to create problems. Due to the dryer than normal growing conditions experienced last summer, most of the nuts harvested in the southwest and Mexico also came in dryer than normal. As such, when shelled, the percentage of halves yielded per pound is down significantly. Some Sheller's have reported half yields as low as 50%.

USDA releases their 2012 Subjective Almond Crop Estimate

May 06, 2012

On Thursday, May 3, 2012, the USDA released their 2012 Subject Almond Crop Estimate forecasting a crop of 2.0 billion pounds (kernel basis). This is approximately 1.5% below last year's production and is based on 780,000 bearing acres. After three record crops, most within the industry had anticipated a smaller crop. However, many independent estimates had placed the size of the crop somewhere between 1.9 and 1.95 billion pounds. With record consumption and a very small carryout, prices will probably remain firm. However, it should be remembered that in general, over the past several years, the size of the crop has generally turned out to be larger than the original estimate. Regardless, when it comes to nut meats, Almonds will continue to be the best buy.

Pecan Market Update

March 22, 2012

Shortly after the release of my March 16, 2012, Pecan Market Update, it was brought to my attention that there was an error in my calculations relative to Total Supply. After correcting the error, the supply situation shapes up as follows:

2010 Carryout 95,107,000
2011 US Crop (USDA estimate) 271,400,000
2011 Net Imports from Mexico (est.) 120,000,000
Total Supply 486,507,000
Less 2012 Net Consumption (est.) 380,000,000
2011 Carryout (est.) 106,507,000

I apologize for any confusion.

March Pecan Market Update

March 16, 2012

On Thursday, March 15, 2012, the USDA NASS released the long awaited 2011 preliminary crop summary.  As expected, their estimate of the 2011 Pecan crop was revised upwards from 251.7 million pounds (inshell basis) to 271.4 million pounds.  Normally this type of an increase would lead to a weakening in the market, however, based on higher than anticipated shipments out of Georgia in the months of December and January, many within the industry had already assumed a crop of approximately 270 to 285 million pounds.  As such, market prices have already adjusted to reflect the anticipated increase.

Pecan Market Update

February 23, 2012

On Tuesday the National Pecan Sheller's Association released their best guestimate of the 2011 Pecan crop estimating the crop to be 280.5 million pounds (inshell basis). That figure is slightly higher than the October USDA estimate of 251.7 million pounds but is within reason considering that Georgia appears to have produced about 20 to 30 million pounds more than originally anticipated. If so, and with the larger Mexican crop, it would appear that total supply will be only slightly less than last year. Because most contracts were written at levels below those of last year, consumption should remain strong with China expected to consume about 25% more product than they did in 2011.

Pecan Market Update

January 24, 2012

On Friday, January 20, 2012, the USDA released the December Cold Storage figures. While the November figures were lowered slightly indicating a little better consumption than originally indicated, the December figures still show sufficient inventories to handle current consumption.