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Peanuts: unexpected turn

September 18, 2023 at 9:39 AM , Der AUDITOR
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NEW DELHI. Although the peanut harvest is underway in India, prices have taken a rather unexpected turn. News on the US crop is confusing and harvesting is well underway in China.

Unsustainable prices in India

In fact, the market has recently witnessed a minor uptick in prices, despite harvesting being underway in several countries. Main driver are inquiries from quite a few eastern nations including Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam as well as Malaysia. This trend, however, cannot persist for now at least. As these inquiries are not converting into proportionate transactions corrections will certainly occur in the next one to two weeks.

Several factors will weigh on the market in September. Anticipation, for instance, is that domestic production will rise sharply this season due an increase acreage. In Rajasthan, acreage has grown from 800,000 ha last to 1.1 million ha this year. China’s crop will also cause demand for Indian peanuts and peanut oil to slump. Present rates for 4% free fatty acid peanut oil range at USD 1,870/mt and for 2% at USD 1,930/mt. In addition, it should be noted that edible oil imports broke all records in July leaving traders perplexed as there was no logical explanation for this considering that there were no major festivals and the winter season a far way off. US exports may also enter the market with full vigour.

Exporters are presently selling the new crop in forward contracts and the market is gearing up for a busy period starting in early October as the Diwali festival approaches. This Hindu festival of lights, which will be celebrated on 12 November this year, will certainly boost sales. Bold peanuts, 40-50, are trading in a range of USD 1,530-1,550/mt FOB India.

Peanuts, with skin

Type

USD/mt

Bold, 40-50

1,530

Bold, 50-60

1,490

Bold, 60-70

1,475

Java, 50-60

1,565

Java, 60-70

1,480

Java, 70-80

1,485

TJ

1,300

FOB India, non-EU quality

Differing reports in the USA

Farmers have started the primary harvest season in China, where output is expected to increase by at least 20%. Economic challenges will also reduce demand and prices should prove highly competitive. Reports on the US crop, however, differ. While substantial rainfall is required for a good crop, Hurricane Idalia, which hit the East Coast at the end of August, brought storms and rain to Florida, Alabama and Georgia along with North and South Carolina. This has apparently helped to boost yields and some traders are excepting a large crop. Exporters are, however, more cautious as some are selling the new crop in forward contracts, whereas others have stopped issuing offers for now.

 

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