Argentine pecan exports are set to rise rapidly in the coming years as planted area continues to expand. The country ranks as the third biggest global producer of fresh pecans after the US and Mexico and is the biggest exporter of value-added products derived from the nut.
“Planted area has increased by around 1,000ha a year in the past three years and it is estimated that there is currently around 6,000ha under production – the majority of which is relatively young and has yet to reach its full potential,” said Carlos Ceballos of Informe Frutihortícola.
In the coming years planted area in the north east of Argentina is projected to expand by 500-700ha a year, while in the rest of the country around 500ha is being planted annually. One of the biggest projects is in the province of Entre Rios on the banks of the Paranacito River where a 2,000ha farm is being developed, of which about half is already under production.
Based on current growth projections, planted area is set to reach 15,000ha within the next decade, bringing with it an important rise in exportable volume.
The market outlook for this crop is highly promising. In the past five years average price levels have been 14 per cent higher than the previous 23-year average.
“Compared with most other fruits and vegetables, the market is far less volatile and if prices do fall, they tend to recover during the following season,” Ceballos said. “While annual exports generate a modest US$2.4m today, it is believed this could rise to US$30m within the next six years, once all of the country’s acreage has reached full production.”