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Peanuts: high stakes for growers in 2022

January 12, 2022 10:51 AM, Der AUDITOR
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ATLANTA. Rising running costs are forcing US farmers to carefully decide, which crops are worth it this year. The market, however, performed well in 2021.

China cuts back buying

As The Peanut Grower reports trading is rather subdued at the start of the year as prices are firm and demand limited. Growers and shellers are already preparing for the new crop. Hopes are that this year will turn out equally good as last year since the quality was excellent, yields were satisfactory and demand was high. Shipments to China, however, came to a complete hold in December. September already saw an 83% slump in shipments to China as opposed to 2020. Issue is that inventories are high here and that the new crop will arrive soon.

US growers are also confronted with great challenges this year as not only the costs for seeds and fertilisers have risen sharply but also for fuel and other running costs. Farmers now have to carefully decide, which crops to grow. Although acreage declined by 5.1% to 1.5 million acres in 2021 as opposed to 2020, production ranged 1% higher at 3.1 million short tons (2.81 million mt) due to improved yields. Exports declined by 1.2% to around 700,000 short tons (635,000 mt). Traders, nevertheless, think that China may start to buy again if prices prices become attractive enough.

At present, suppliers in Argentina still hold around 15% of the 2021 crop, the new crop has been planted and intitial rains were helpful. Traders are now, however, hoping for rain as temperatures are high. Processing and exporting costs have also risen here. Buyers can also still obtain stocks from the current crop in Brazil. Although traders report that rains are good, planting was completed a bit late. The new crop in Nicaragua is good in size but the quality does not quite stand up to expectations. Although production prospects are highly encouraging in India with volumes and quality said to be good, selling to China is difficult.

Firm market in Europe

The peanut prices in Europe have been mainly firm with some nominal rises in the last few weeks. Roasted salted peanuts from Argentina currently cost around USD 2.11/kg EXW Poland (EUR 1.85/kg).

Peanuts, Europe

Type, origin

EUR/kg

USD/kg

Runner, blanched, 38/42, Argentina and Brazil

1.60

1.80

Blanched, 40/50, Argentina

1.65

1.88

Inshell, 9/11, XA, China

2.10

2.39

FCA Spain

Freight charges are still extortionate

High freight charges coupled with limited capacities on container ships and a lack of containers will remain a problem in the peanut market for some time. US suppliers, however, have a decisive advantage as shipments to Canada and Mexico, which are important export destinations, are hardly impacted by this; transportation by rail and road is possible here, whereas shipments to Asia or Europe are much more difficult. Inflation is also an issue for most producing countries.

 

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