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China’s demand for US pecans continues to increase

Georgia tornado impacted a handful of pecan orchards

This past Sunday night, a deadly tornado hit Southern Georgia. The state grows about 40 percent of the nation’s pecans and FreshPlaza talked with a pecan handler about the impact on the industry. “It hit a few isolated areas in the vicinity of Albany,” says Will Easterlin with Easterlin Pecans. “A few farmers were hit very badly and several hundred acres of pecan trees were wiped out. In the grand scheme of things, we won’t notice the impact in US pecan supply, but it is terrible for the growers involved.”

Georgia is wrapping up its pecan harvest now and the trees are dormant. “From a volume perspective, it was not a huge crop as the trees were impacted by drought conditions between late August and October,” said Easterlin. “It finally started to rain in November,” he added. “Pricing on the other hand was very good, so it was a good year for the growers.”

China buys 20-30% of US pecans
Demand for US pecans has been steadily increasing in the past 10 years. “China is a big nut nation and since 2007, the Chinese have been buying our pecans in large quantities,” shared Easterlin. About 20-30 percent of US pecan supplies are exported to China. Because of increased demand, prices have gone up in recent years. In response to high prices, Easterlin expects US pecan production to increase dramatically in the next five to ten years.

American Pecan Board
To market and promote US pecans, a new Federal Marketing Order was established in the form of the American Pecan Board (APB). Funding of the APB’s activities will be paid for by the pecan industry through crop assessments. This year’s crop was the first to be assessed and Easterlin expects that within a year, US pecans will be promoted more heavily.

For more information:
Will Easterlin
Easterlin Pecan Company
Tel: (+1) 478-472-7731