The newest American product the Chinese are snatching up is, suprisingly, pecans. The U.S. produces about 80% of the world’s pecans, and is exporting an increasing amount each year to China. The nuts are popular because they are a healthy snack, and a cheaper alternative to walnuts. U.S. pecan exports to Hong Kong last year increased by 64%, and the trend should continue. Twenty percent of American pecans went to China last year, and the number should near 35% this year.
According to one Illinois crop broker, Chinese businessmen literally came to American orchards with briefcases full of cash. They paid as much as 25% down, with the rest of the payments made after the pecans arrived in China. China’s entry into the market is good news for American farmers, but bad news for consumers, who should expect to see higher prices. A farmer in Texas said that he could continue to plant orchids to boost profits. American trade associations should continue to find buyers in China and encourage increased production and exports in the United States.