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Brisk Fancy Jr Mam H sales firm market

February 9, 2024

Assessed Fancy Jr Mam H and Fancy Med Pcs prices rose in the global pecan market during the week ending on Friday as demand increased and sellers prepared their USDA bids.  

Fancy Jr Mam H rose 10 cents to $4.63/lb FOB Texas, an eight-week high. Trade on the item was vigorous, with 10 trades reported during the Feb. 3-9 assessment period.  

There were a handful of large volume trades reported during the period, including a 2.2 million lb Fancy Jr Mam H trade at $4.55/lb FOB Texas.  

Activity on pieces was also higher than usual. Stratamarkets assessed Fancy Med Pcs at $4.69/lb FOB Texas, up 20 cents, putting it above Fancy Jr Mam H. Fancy Lge Pcs lost a penny.    

Kernel 

Many U.S. shellers slowed spot offer activity during the period as they turned attention to bidding on the USDA’s Section 32 purchase program. Bids are due on February 20. The 6.2 million lb purchase could help firm the market by clearing excess supply. 

“There is some cautious optimism that the purchase will move the market,” said one U.S. sheller on Thursday.  

The last USDA purchase in 2022 gave shellers between $4.20-$4.40/lb FOB Texas, about a $1 higher than the $3.50 FOB Texas price that was the average at the time, sources said.  

Domestic and international demand for kernels was brisk during the period. Some sellers are holding back, waiting for the right moment to sell the specific items they have left.  

“I mostly have jumbo halves and choice halves remaining to sell, and the market typically doesn’t come in for that material this early in the year,” said a second U.S. sheller on Thursday.  

In Europe, many buyers have stalled on buying from the U.S. as they assess how much supply is in the continent and weigh purchasing other nuts.  

“The majority of the European buyers here are still a bit hesitant,” said one European broker on Tuesday. “Customers aren’t jumping to pay high prices. They are going for other commodities that aren’t as high priced.” 

Those who are still buying pecans are choosing spot purchases instead of contracting.  

“‘Everyone is buying hand to mouth,” said the European broker.

Inshell 

Georgia is all but sold out of its Eastern varieties. One U.S. grower reported a $3.10/pt FOB Georgia FG sale of one load of Stuart but said that he had hardly anything left in his warehouse. Most of the Georgia harvest has gone to China. 

“China bought a lot from Georgia, which tightens the supply, and shellers have been unable to get the meat price up to make a margin that’s comfortable for them,” said the U.S. grower on Friday. “It’s been challenging.”  

Stratamarkets assessed Stuart at $3.10/pt FOB Georgia based on a trade that level, and Desirable, which saw no trades, bids, or offers during the period, at $3.25/pt FOB Georgia based on its four-week spread with Stuart, which is at a 15-cent premium. 

The harvest is now completed in Mexico with most small and medium-sized growers sold out, while larger growers are holding onto their wares in hopes that prices will climb, sources said.  

Growers are asking for higher prices and are choosing to sit on their supply rather than negotiate if shellers can’t pay. Many growers and shellers have reached a stalemate, with neither willing to budge on the price.  

“Shellers don’t want to pay the higher prices, so there is limited activity,” said one Mexican sheller on Feb. 2.  

The assessed W Wichita price climbed 5 cents to $3.30/pt delivered Texas based on three trades within Mexico.  

Some Mexican growers have been pushing prices up by 5 cents per week, partially buoyed by the rising peso, sources said. 

“We bought two loads this week at $3.15 delivered per point, and then the same grower said for next week it will be $3.20,” said a second Mexican sheller on Thursday. “If the big growers don’t sell and we the shellers need the goods, we have no choice but to pay more.”  

An estimated 40-50 million lbs of uncommitted inshell is left in Mexico, sources said.