Fancy Jr Mam H upswing continues

April 1, 2024

The assessed Fancy Jr Mam H price rose 3 cents in the global pecan market during the week ending on Monday as sellers slowed down on offers and international demand increased. 

Fancy Jr Mam H climbed to $4.71/lb FOB Texas during the March 25-April 1 assessment period in thinner trade compared with the previous week. It marked the fifth consecutive on-week increase for the item and its longest-running upswing since Stratamarkets started assessing the item in January 2023.   

Driving the move: Shellers saw increased interest from international buyers during the period. “I’m seeing a lot more demand from Europe and the Middle East,” said one Mexican sheller on Monday. “I’m sold out on halves for the next month or so.” 

Tell me more: Most of the sales for Fancy Jr Mam H were for only a few loads. The item traded at $4.80/lb FAS Houston for 62,000 lbs, $4.75/lb CIF Jeddah for 121,500 lbs, and $4.85/lb CFR Europe for 162,000 lbs. 

Fancy Mam H fell a penny to $4.67/lb FOB Texas. It is now at a 4-cent discount to the Fancy Jr Mam H. The one Fancy Mam H trade that was recorded was for 121,500 lbs bound for the Middle East in April at $4.85/lb CFR Israel.   

There were two reported trades for Fancy Med Pcs and one of a mixed Fancy Med/Lge Pcs load. The mixed load traded at $4.65/lb FOB Texas while the two straight loads traded at $4.50/lb and $4.95/lb, both FAS CA. For both Fancy Med Pcs and Fancy Lge Pcs, offers came in below the assessed prices. 

Underscoring the firm demand during the period, buyers were pulling previously booked volumes ahead of schedule, a U.S. sheller said on Friday. Shellers also reported that international buyers, who had been asking for mostly spot sales, are now looking for longer-term contracts through the fall, winter, and next spring.   

Still, trade was light during the period as many market participants took at least part of the week off to celebrate Holy Week, Spring Break, and the continuation of Ramadan.  

In the inshell market, Stratamarkets assessed W Wichita at $3.40/pt CNF Texas, unchanged from last week based on just one recorded trade, down from six trades the previous week. Inshell trade was limited.  

Zoom in 

The Fancy Med Pcs price premium to Fancy Jr Mam H has condensed in recent weeks. On Tuesday, it inverted to a discount. 

Driving the move: Shellers are finding it hard to move pieces because of a lack of domestic demand, so supply is climbing. Demand is falling because some large re-baggers have stopped buying pecans from shellers, making it harder for shellers to move the item.  

Tell me more: The move represents a shift. In recent years, Fancy Jr Mam H prices had traded at about a dime premium to Fancy Med Pcs. Then came a shortage of Fancy Med Pcs due primarily to better processing methods and machinery, which resulted in more halves and less pieces.  

From July 14, 2023, to Dec. 15, 2023, Fancy Med Pcs was consistently at a premium to Fancy Jr Mam H, with those premiums ranging from a high of 33 cents on Oct. 7 to just 2 cents on Nov. 24.   

Looking ahead 

The winners of part of the USDA Section 32 purchase order will begin sending the first shipments of pieces to the U.S. government this month. But there is still confusion as to what will happen to more than half of the 6.2 million lb order, which was awarded to a Georgia peanut company at an average price of $2.96/lb.  

At the time, market participants assumed that the award must have been a clerical error, since the price was too low for the company to buy, package, and deliver pecans pieces without losing money, sources said. More than five weeks later, the USDA has yet to reveal what will become of that company’s 3.2 million lb sale award, making some shellers anxious.  

“It’s really important that the order gets filled,” one Mexican sheller said on Monday. “We need to get these 6.2 million pounds off the market. The market would stabilize a lot if we could get rid of those.”    

On Monday, a USDA press officer said the agency has nothing new to report regarding the purchase.