The Mintec Benchmark Prices of US pecans (251-300 halves per pound, fancy grade) delivered on a CFR basis Europe rose by 6% in the four-week period to 19th August, to USD 5.5/lb, the highest since October 2019. The market has been buoyed by tight availability in the US for both halves and pieces, as well as solid global demand and sellers trying to make up for losses they sustained when the market was subdued during the second half of 2020.
US pecan shipments totalled 395 million lbs between 1st September 2020 and 31st July 2021 (in-shell basis), an increase of 98% y-o-y, according to the American Pecan Council. US pecan exports jumped by 15% in volume in the eleven months through to July 2021, to 111 million lbs (in-shell basis), largely driven by soaring exports to China, up 22% year-on-year (y-o-y) at 37 million lbs. South Korea, the UK and Israel also shipped in significantly more pecans than in the previous season.
A large proportion of pecans is consumed by the baking industry and the easing of COVID-19 regulations has helped to boost sales in this sector. Retail demand for pecan mono-packs has also been strong, due to increased popularity of home baking during the pandemic and consumers snacking more frequently on pecans.
Some of the most recent price gains have come on the back of sellers trying to compensate for overselling at cheap levels at the peak of the pandemic, in the second half of last year, according to market participants. In November 2020, the benchmark bottomed at USD 4.75/lb.