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  • Production areas

    • The majority of the Australian pecan crop is produced under irrigation in the Gwydir Valley, east of Moree in northern inland New South Wales.
    • Smaller scale production extends from the Hunter Valley and Nelson Bay on the NSW Central Coast to the Mid North Coast near Kempsey and the North Coast around Lismore.
    • Pecans are also grown in Central Queensland around Mundubbera and Eidsvold and in the South East in the Lockyer Valley and south to the NSW border.
    • Small plantings also exist in South Australia and Western Australia.

  • Current production

    • Area under pecans is 1,350 ha.
    • Production is about 3,000 t in-shell (1,650 t kernel).
  • Industry potential

    • Pecans production in Australia in increasing slowly but steadily with about 100-200 new hectares being planted annually. “Trawalla” farm, established on 700 ha by the Stahmann family in the 1970s, remains the only large-scale orchard in Australia but a number of new smaller orchards have been planted in recent years.
    • Since pecan trees take 10 years or more to reach full production there is a substantial lag time before new plantings impact crop size but after a long period of stagnation production increases are now being observed.
    • Pecans are extremely long-lived and remain highly productive for more than a century, making them a genuinely long-term investment. They are relatively tolerant of a range of growing conditions although productivity is naturally dependent on the right combination of sun, soil and water.
    • In the right environment a pecan tree will grow very large and so careful husbanding is required to maintain a commercial orchard.
    • Stahmann Farms Enterprises operates Australia’s largest pecan processing plant in Toowoomba (QLD) from which it supplies inshell and kernel products to domestic and international markets. Other smaller processors, including Organic Pecan Enterprises, supply mostly local markets.
    • Global production remains concentrated in USA and Mexico which together account for 90% or more of the world crop. South Africa continues to expand production with small but significant crops also to be found in Central and South America.

  • Markets - present and future

    • The bulk of Australian pecan product is sold as kernel for domestic consumption with distribution split between retail and manufacturing channels.
    • Australian pecan kernel exports find their way to all corners of the globe from North America to Europe, the Middle East and East Asia.
    • The pecan market has been strong in recent years, especially since the entry of China to the world market in the early 2000s.
    • Pecans constitute less than 5% of world tree nut trade and their consumption is still mainly concentrated in the USA, where they are a native nut. Demand in Asia, Europe and the Middle East is growing although the intense interest from China has severely limited availability in recent years
    • Pecan nuts have many marketable health benefits among which their exceptionally high level of antioxidants (one of the highest of all natural food products) is most noteworthy. The Nuts for Life campaign continues to play an important role in bringing such benefits to the attention of Australian consumers, and it has been influential in continuing consumption growth in Australia.

     

  • Competitive advantages

    • Australian pecans are harvested in the northern hemisphere off-season meaning that fresh Australian product can be shipped into major markets in the pre-Christmas season and, importantly, in good time for Chinese New Year.
    • The Australian pecan industry has been fortunate to remain free from troublesome scab disease which blights much of the production in the USA, and innovative production techniques mean that the bulk of the Australian crop is grown without the use of chemical pesticides.
    • Australia’s clean green image and the robust food safety regimes required in Australia and validated by internationally recognised QA systems, support strong interest by a health conscious middle class throughout the world and, increasingly, in our Asian region.

     

About Pecans

 

Australian pecans are harvested in the northern hemisphere off-season meaning that fresh Australian product can be shipped into major markets in the pre-Christmas season and, importantly, in good time for Chinese New Year.

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