Pecans Could Get Cheaper as Growers Worry About New China Tariff

Shoppers in the United States could see lower prices for pecans as a result of a new 15 percent tariff imposed by China.

“It means you’ll probably get cheaper pecans, that’s what I think will happen, maybe 10, 20 percent difference in price,” said Mike Sage, who owns Sunnyvale Pecan Orchard in Dallas County.

According to the Texas Pecan Growers Association, the United States ships about a third of the country’s pecan crop to China, and higher prices there may lead to an oversupply here at home.

“Oversupply, lower prices,” said Sage, who now only sells his pecans to people who come pick them.

Grocery stores could snap up pecans for less than before, then pass the savings along in lower prices.

Mike Grimm, NBC 5 Photojournalist
Mike Sage, left, and Kevin Cokely, right, walk through the Sunnyvale Pecan Orchard in Dallas County, April 4, 2018.

“Grocery stores are going to be the ones that are going to be looking at this harder than anybody, because they’re the ones that on a nationwide scale, they buy a lot of pecans, so it should be much cheaper for them,” said Sage.

That could cause Sage to lower his prices too.

“Our prices, we’ve got to be competitive with the grocery store for the most part,” said sage.

“If its cheaper for them to go to the grocery store, maybe that’s where some of our market will go,” said Sage, “I may wind up with a lot of inventory that I didn’t want to have for the year”.

Last year a pound of hand-picked pecans at Sunnyvale Pecan Orchard sold for $2.75.

The new tariffs could hit Texas growers where it hurts.

“We deal with pretty low margins, cost of doing business is real high, so whatever happens may affect us, our bottom line," said Sage.

“We produce in October, some produce in September, so September is probably going to be the time that’s going to tell what our market going to be like,” said Sage.

Only Georgia and New Mexico produce more pecans than Texas.

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