Kernel prices fall as demand thins 

May 28, 2024

All assessed kernel prices declined in the global pecan market during the week ending on Monday as end-user demand slowed.  

Tell me more: Fancy Jr Mam H led the decline, losing 14 cents during the May 20-27 assessment period. Fancy Mam H fell by 6 cents. 

Trade activity for Fancy Mam H increased as more shellers offered the item and more international customers accepted the size as a replacement for Fancy Jr Mam H. The item traded six times during the assessment period, including some large volume sales. One sale was reported at 1.2 million lbs and another at 800,000 lbs, both at $4.65/lb FOB Texas. 

However, trade for Fancy Jr Mam H was thin, with one trade reported, down from five trades reported during the previous assessment period.  

Some of the larger shellers continued to offer Fancy Jr Mam H at higher prices ranging from $4.90-5.10/lb FOB Texas while relying on smaller shellers with less marketing power to provide the kernels.  

“A lot of the big shellers are oversold right now, so they are offering higher prices on the market and buying the material from smaller shellers,” a sheller in Mexico said on Monday.  

Meanwhile, Fancy Lge Pcs and Fancy Med Pcs declined by 6 cents and 7 cents, respectively. Shellers said there is a lack of demand for pieces – especially for Fancy Lge Pcs.  

“My big worry is that large and extra-large pieces are not going to move,” the sheller in Mexico said. “There are a lot of large and extra-large pieces on the market right now, and they are not moving at all.” 

In the inshell market, W Wichita rose a dime to $3.50/pt CNF Texas on thin trade as shellers continued to work through the material they have on hand. Many growers who still have product continue to hold onto it in anticipation of prices increasing later in the crop year.   

Cold storage report 

The latest USDA Cold Storage Report, which was released on Friday, shows U.S. pecan stocks at the end of April at 275.4 million inshell equivalent (IE) lbs, up 8% from the same period last year. That includes 88.5 million IE lbs of kernel and 186.9 million lbs of inshell. Overall, there is now more kernel and less inshell in storage than was noted in the last report a month ago. Over the past 10 years, cold storage stocks in April have averaged 277 million IE lbs.  

South Africa 

South African shellers made their first kernel sales to European buyer this week as halves and pieces offer prices from the U.S. and Mexico increased and customers took note of the shortages in North America.  

A South African sheller sold one load and one mixed load of Fancy Jr Mam H at $10.60/kg ($4.82/lb) CIF UK, and part of a mixed load of Fancy Med Pcs at $10.00/kg ($4.55/lb) CIF UK.  

The sale prices from South Africa are slightly higher than the assessed value of North American Fancy Jr Mam H. After accounting for freight, the sale price of Fancy Jr Mam H from South Africa to the UK equals about $4.77/lb, putting the South African sales 14 cents above this week’s assessed value of product from the U.S. and Mexico 

South African sellers also made more inshell sales to China at lower prices than last week. 

South Africa-origin Wichita traded at $4.85/kg CIF China for a 57% meat yield and 155 count/kg. Last month, inshell sale from South Africa to China were ranging from $5-5.30 CFR China.   “These prices are still under pressure,” said one South African grower on Friday.