What is in this article?:
- Slow harvest, high demand pushing pecan prices
- China driving demand
• Prices for most varieties are $1 to $1.50 per pound higher than normal for a crop like this year’s.
China driving demand
Demand for pecans has increased in recent years, driven by China’s newfound taste for the nut. China purchased 88 million pounds of pecans last year, equal to all of Georgia’s production last year. With 140,000 acres, Georgia is the No. 1 pecan producing state in the country. The U.S. produced 290 million pounds last year.
“China is expected to purchase this year at least as much as they purchased last year,” Wells said. “Considering this and the reduction in the crop, I don’t expect prices to decrease much as harvest continues.”
Georgia’s pecan harvest typically ends near Christmas.
With farm-level prices high, U.S. consumers can expect, eventually, to pay more for pecans, said Wojciech Florkowski, an economist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, but not too much more than they have historically because the American consumer has many tree nuts to choose from and all are in plentiful supply.
“This keeps a lid on how high pecan prices can go,” Florkowski said. “So, the retail prices may go up a bit, but retailers tend to price substitutes at similar price levels, so pecans cannot be much more expensive than almonds, walnuts or imported cashews.”