The pecan is a tree nut that is native to North America. The term pecan is broadly used to refer to nuts that require a stone to crack. However, pecans are rich in dietary fibers and several other nutrients such as manganese, phosphorous, and thiamin. They are also good sources of protein and vitamin B. The global production of pecans has been on the increase over the last decade. The production stood at 124,000 metric tons in 2017/2018 with 92% produced in North America. The US and Mexico accounted for 92% of the total production with Australia and South Africa producing the rest. Mexico and the US are also the major exporters, accounting for 98% of the pecans export while the major importers included Canada, Netherlands, and the UK.
Top Pecan Consumers
The US is not only the top pecan producer but also the leading consumer. Approximately 64,900 metric tons of pecans were consumed in the country in 2016, translating to a per capita consumption of 0.2 kg. The consumption in 2016 was lower than in 2015 by about 141 metric tons. Although the US is the largest pecan producer in the world, the demand is often higher than the production, forcing it to import more, especially from Mexico. In 2016, it imported 38,397 metric tons of shelled pecans. The US is also the second largest exporter of pecan after Mexico, accounting for 36% of export in 2016.
Mexico is the second-highest producer and consumer of pecans after the US. In 2016, Mexicans consumed 33,358 metric tons of pecans up from 26,700 metric tons the previous year. The consumption per capita of 0.202 kg is, however, lower than the estimated per capita consumption of 0.807 kg. The consumption trend has not been consistent over the last five years beginning in 2012. Mexico is the leading exporter of pecans, accounting for 62% of all exports. It exports mainly to the US and some European countries such as the Netherlands. It also imported approximately 779 metric tons in 2016 to supplement local production.
Although Canada produces an insignificant amount of pecans, it is one of the major pecan consumers in the world. It relies mainly on imports to meet the local demand, being the second-largest importer after the US. Canada gets most of its pecans from the US, importing approximately 25% of the total export from its neighbor. In 2016, Canada recorded a consumption of 5,509 metric tons up from 4,997 metric tons the previous year. The consumption trend has increased consistently over the last three years starting in 2014.
Pecan Production Trend
Although the global pecan production has shown an increasing trend over the past one decade, the production has been marked by trends of fluctuation. In 2008/2009, production was recorded at 60,640 metric tons, down from 105,370 metric tons the previous year. However, there was a significant increase in production in 2009/2010, amounting to 109,253 metric tons. 2010-2012 was marked by flat growth in production. The highest production was recorded in 2017/2017 when production rose to 129,643 metric tons. Overall, production has increased by over 18% in the last 10 years on average.