Nuts

Peanuts: farmers outsmart industry

January 23, 2023 at 11:10 AM , Der AUDITOR
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NEW DELHI. Farmers are in full control of India’s peanut market. Not only do they still hold more than 35% of all stocks but they also know how to play to their advantage. Artificial intelligence may also prove an asset in limiting aflatoxin contamination.

Superior nuts in short supply

Trouble is that the farmers are not only simply holding back but that they also only release their stocks at intervals after every price rise. The market is, consequently, facing a supply squeeze for superior quality nuts on all levels. Related industries cannot buy large volumes at present and many factories can only operate at half capacity. Groundnut oil producers and exporters are also having trouble finding the volumes they require.

International pressure is, in addition, lacking. As the prices for imports from Sudan range 30% higher than in India traders are far from interested in buying. Prospects are also bleak in Brazil and Argentina since delayed rains are expected to reduce yields by nearly 10%. Yet, the situation is about to turn. Issue is that the winter crops are anticipated to be large in Tamil Nadu and Odisha and will start arriving in March. Expectation, therefore, is that prices will continue to rise a bit until the end of February before slowly starting to come down again in March.

Peanuts, with skin

Type

USD/mt

Bold, 40-50

1,360

Bold, 50-60

1,320

Bold, 60-70

1,305

Java, 50-60

1,465

Java, 60-70

1,380

Java, 70-80

1,385

FOB India, non-EU quality

AI and sustainability beyond food

As local media in India report Dr Mukti Sadhan Basu, former director of the Directorate of Groundnut Research (ICAR), is confident that artificial intelligence can eradicate the current challenges aflatoxin presents and assist in grading and sorting peanuts. This may support producing countries such as Zambia, where aflatoxin contamination is a serious problem.

Peanut shells are also becoming a valuable resource. Not only are they used in composting wet materials, cleaning wastewater and treating plastic but also as thermal insulator and to produce bioethanol. In addition, the cosmetics industry is increasingly relying on peanut oil as skin moisturiser and protector due to its high vitamin E content.

 

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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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