Trade War With China Hurts Arizona’s Pecan Exports

By Scott Bourque
Published: Sunday, August 18, 2019 - 2:10pm
Updated: Monday, August 19, 2019 - 11:46am

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Pecan trees
Carrie Jung/KJZZ
The first step in the pecan harvesting process is to shake the nuts from their branches.

As a result of the Trump administration’s tariffs, the Chinese Government has stopped purchasing all U.S. agricultural exports, which has seriously affected farmers across the country, including here in the state.

Carrie Jung/KJZZ
Pecan harvest season typically lasts from November through January.

According to the USDA, Arizona pecan farmers produced a record 28 million pounds of pecans in 2017, worth $70 million. Chinese exports make up about 60% of Arizona’s pecan sales.

“The tariffs with China affect the overall marketplace and add a tremendous amount of uncertainty,” said David Steele, the spokesperson for the Sahuarita-based Farmers Investment Corp., or FICO. “If you’re a farmer and you’ve got an annual crop, that uncertainty is really a challenging business proposition.”

The scare has caused FICO to cancel its annual Pecan Festival, which drew close to 20,000 visitors last year.

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