The US 2022/23 pecan crop is anticipated to reach between 290-309 million lbs (in-shell), relatively unchanged compared to the previous campaign (307 million lbs). This crop estimation was made by Alexander Ott, the executive director of the American Pecan Council, who was talking at the NDFTA (The Nut and Dried Fruit Trade Association) event in London in the week of 15th November. According to Mr. Ott, production this year has been adversely affected by drought in the western growing areas, freezing conditions in Oklahoma and hurricane damage in the southeast of the US.
Despite these setbacks, the overall production volume in US appears to be solid, largely as a result of a strong output in Georgia. Earlier in October, the USDA published its first 2022/23 crop production estimate, pegging the size of the US harvest at 290.5 million lbs, an increase of 14% year-on-year (y-o-y).
These strong supply projections, coupled with soft global demand for pecans, have led to the Mintec Benchmark Prices for US pecans (junior mammoth pecan halves) falling on the CFR EU basis in the past four weeks. The benchmark was down by 9% in the four-week period to the 17th of November, at USD 5.35/lb (CFR EU).
Global demand for pecans was muted during 2021/22, with export shipments from the US down 41% y-o-y between September 2021 and August 2022, at 79 million lbs, compared to 133 million lbs (in-shell basis) in the previous campaign, according to data published by the American Pecan Council. A large decline in exports was registered in China (down 73% y-o-y to 11.6 million lbs), while shipments to Europe contracted by 27% y-o-y, to 31.7 million lbs. Total shipments, including the domestic US market, fell 5% y-o-y during 2021/22 for pecan kernels (162 million lbs) and 60% for in-shell nuts (42 million lbs).
During the first month of the new marketing campaign, in September 2022, the US exported 5.8 million lbs of pecans compared to 8.3 million lbs exported during September 2021. Commitments to ship (sold but not yet shipped) were up 60% y-o-y during September for kernels, and up 254% for in-shell pecans.