‘Miserable Prices’ for Southeast Pecans

Web AdminPecan

By Clint Thompson

What started as a promising marketing season for pecans has deteriorated rapidly.

pecan prices

Lenny Wells, University of Georgia Extension pecan specialist, said Southeast producers are encountering “miserable prices.” It is discouraging news for a crop that is expected to produce high yields this year.

“They’re miserable prices. Nobody’s got a really good answer as to why they’re coming down,” Wells said. “Probably the best gauge is to look at Desirables. When harvests first started, Desirables were between $2.20 and $2.30 (per pound). I’d say as late as the beginning of (Oct. 24) last week, we were seeing $2.05 to $2.15 consistently. By the end of last week (Oct. 28), we were seeing $1.70 to $1.90. Now it’s around $1.60 to $1.70.

“You hear all kinds of things as to what is leading to the low prices. You hear Mexico’s crop, low prices out of Mexico, the economy not just here in the U.S. but throughout the world. All of these things are out there. That’s about all we’ve got to go on. There’s no real good explanation for it.”

The low prices are impacting what growers will do with their crop once it is picked.

“Once these prices started to nosedive as they have, a lot of them have just started holding and not selling right now; waiting to see what happens and maybe putting them in cold storage long term,” Wells said. “The quality that I’ve seen so far has been excellent. It’s just hard to turn loose of a really good quality, especially something like a Desirable that you’ve sprayed and had a lot of money in. It’s hard to turn loose of that for below $2 for sure. Really at the $1.60 or $1.70 point, they’re losing money on them.”