When we last covered peanuts back in September 2011 , there was a lot of concern about what was happening in the US and the rest of the world marketplace. We thought it would be good to provide an update on what has been happening. Prices for this important crop reached recent record levels in 2012 due to rising demand and poor South American harvests as a result of a prolonged drought there last year.
Annual world peanut production in 2011/12 is expected to reach 35.39m tonnes, a 0.1% decrease on 35.43m tonnes in 2010/11. While this doesn't seem too dramatic a decline in terms of volume, the lower crop is on the back of increased efforts to raise planting in light of the higher prices, and is faced by steeply increasing world demand. World exports of these limited supplies is set to rise 8.3% in 2012, to 2.47m tonnes, from 2.28m tonnes in 2011 and ending stocks are expected to decline 8.2% to 1.01m tonnes by the end of this year.
China and India are the largest producers of peanuts. With China growing 16.2m tonnes in 2012, 46% of the world's supply and India responsible for 5.25m tonnes, 15% of the world's supply. The snack markets in China and India are still relatively limited in their use of peanuts, since a lot of their peanuts, or groundnuts as they are also commonly known, go to be pressed to make groundnut oil, a fairly essential element of both Chinese and Indian cuisine. Both China and India are quite voracious in the consumption of their own supplies and so therefore aren't particularly large exporters of this crop.
So here's a plea to get planting globally! Although it pretty much looks like US growers are already on the case. Despite less than favourable moisture levels in the eight key US peanut growing states, recent crop progress reports pointed towards 30% of the US peanut crop being planted by May 6th 2012 -- compared to a 2007-2011 average of just 14% for this time of the year. There are hopes that the US acreage could increase by as much as 25% to 1.42m acres in 2012 with several states reported record planting intentions and hopes for record crops in the season ahead.
Again, if you would like to be a part our price benchmark on peanuts (anywhere in the world) please drop us a line at daq [at] mintec [dot] ltd [dot] uk.