Nuts

Peanuts: difficulties are hard to assess

April 5, 2022 4:00 PM, Der AUDITOR
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ATLANTA. Like most other agricultural commodities, the peanut market is facing problems such as the effects of the pandemic, transport difficulties and, last but not least, the Ukraine crisis. Above all, the global effects of the war are still difficult to assess at present.

Acreage could be increased

The peanut market, like pretty much all agricultural commodities, is currently facing problems that are difficult to assess. The coronavirus pandemic is still leaving its mark, among other things through a lack of labour, a shortage of freight capacities and measures that interrupt the flow of trade. Now that initial improvements have been made, the war in Ukraine initiated by Putin is leading to global problems of huge proportions. As The Peanut Grower reports, producers are currently struggling with the high cost of fuel, while the increased price of fertiliser could play into the hands of peanut farmers. As peanuts are frugal in this respect and mainly need calcium, competing products such as cotton and corn need large amounts of nitrogen. This could lead to an increase in the area under peanut cultivation. The first official figures already confirm that the peanut acreage in Georgia is likely to be 5% larger than last year.

Search for alternative markets

The USDA reports that there is still good demand on the domestic market, which has even increased slightly year-on-year. The US government buys large quantities of peanut butter and roasted peanuts for various nutrition programmes. However, exports in December 2021 fell significantly by 48% compared to the same month in 2020. According to The Peanut Grower, this is due to the general global economic situation, which first needs to recover - which is unlikely to be the case in the near future. The Ukraine war is causing "maximum uncertainty", according to the experts. Brazil, Argentina and India are the most important exporters of peanuts to Ukraine and Russia; these countries now have to look for alternative markets. Meanwhile, there is movement in relations between the US and the UK, which are currently negotiating to lift 25% tariffs on US peanut butter.

Peanuts

Type

USD/mt

Bold, 40-50, FOB India*

1,290

Bold, 50-60, FOB India*

1,255

Bold, 60-70, FOB India*

1,135

Java, 50-60, FOB India*

1,465

Java, 60-70, FOB India*

1,395

Java, 70-80, FOB India*

1,385

Red Skin, 60/70, China, FCA Spain

1,950

Runner, blanched, 38/42, Argentina, FCA Spain

1,630

Trade sources; *non-EU quality

EU exports decline by almost 11%

Imports to the EU also recorded a significant year-on-year decline of almost 11% in 2021. A total of 536,050 mt of shelled peanuts were imported into EU countries, compared to 400,372 mt in 2020. The declines in imports from Brazil (-17.2%) and China (-16.3%) are particularly marked, but the top supplier Argentina also exported over 9% less to EU countries. Overall, none of the most important producing countries were able to achieve increases.

EU imports of shelled peanuts*, in mt

Supplier

2020

2021

Diff.

Argentina

442,011

401,960

-9.1%

Brazil

43,824

36,286

-17.2%

China

37,595

31,476

-16.3%

USA

30,259

28,553

-5.6%

Nicaragua

19,539

17,667

-9.6%

Others

27,144

20,108

-25.9%

Total

600,372

536,050

-10.7%

European Commission

*12024200 Groundnuts, shelled, whether or not broken (excl. seed for sowing, roasted or otherwise cooked)

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price chart, peanuts, with skin, 40/50, Bold, India
price chart peanuts, with skin, 50/60, Java, India
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