News Briefs

U.S. Peanut Crop Value

According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the price of peanuts averaged 19 cents per pound or $380 per ton last season, 13.6 percent lower than 2014. The value of the 2015 peanut crop at farm level is $1,186,903,000, a 2.3 percent increase from 2014.

The highest average price was paid in North Carolina at $474 per ton, followed by Oklahoma at $464 per ton. The lowest average price was paid in Mississippi at 15.5 cents per pound or $310 per ton followed by Alabama at $324 per ton.

About 55.3 percent of the revenue from peanuts was produced in Georgia, which had a 31 percent increase in production. Revenue in Alabama was down 2 percent and Florida was down 14 percent.
In 2014, the average price was $.22 per pound or $440 per ton with a value of $1,158,251,000.

Southeast Seed Supply

Billy Skaggs, Seed Certification Program Manager with the Georgia Crop Improvement Association, recently issued an update on seed availability for the 2016 season.

Certified peanut acres approved were up 6,800 over 2014 acres at 135,096 with 138,869 actually applied for and 3,773 acres either rejected or removed from certification. Rejected acres are most often the result of isolated issues and most of those removed were dryland.

Field inspections were completed in late September, and at the request of industry, inspectors made a point of documenting whether fields were irrigated or dryland. Skaggs reported that all 52 certified buying points were inspected as shelling/treating plant inspections are underway. He noted that 2016 supplies of foundation, registered and certified GA-06G are up over 2015; supplies of some minor varieties are down from 2015.

Since Feb. 1, certified germinations were averaging in the upper 80s; A. flavus type mold seemed to be a factor affecting overall quality causing Skaggs to conclude that seed quality and quantity were a mixed bag so far this year.

“Location, how long peanuts were in the field after digging, and drying temperature and duration are all factors. Quality could vary this year from lot-to-lot and location-to-location,” he said.

Crop Insurance Available

Crop insurance provides protection against crop production losses due to natural perils such as drought, hail and excessive moisture. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator.

In 2015, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation reports 23,437 policies were sold for peanuts, including 2,039 catastrophic policies. Peanuts covered totaled 1,496,001 acres with total liability of over $735.6 million. Premiums paid by farmers were $72.5 million with the government subsidy of $43.7 million. Indemnity totaled $91.8 million or a loss ratio of 1.27.

NPB Sponsors Allergy Webinar

The National Peanut Board recently sponsored a webinar for the School Nutrition Association about managing food allergies in schools. The webinar, “Managing Food Allergies: What You Must Know,” was moderated by Sherry Coleman Collins, registered dietitian. The educational session featured J.J. Levenstein, pediatrician and chair of the NPB Food Allergy Education Advisory Council, and Sally Schoessler, former school nurse and director of education for Allergy and Asthma Network.

More than 600 people logged on for the presentation, making it one of the best-attended webinars offered by the NPB.

During the session, Levenstein and Schoessler detailed how to identify and treat a reaction, offered strategies for reducing risks, and made the case for a comprehensive approach to food allergy management, including why banning foods doesn’t work. Participants had many excellent questions about managing food allergies, including how to make reasonable accommodations, myths about inhalation and about stock epinephrine. Speakers discussed recent research results to help reduce peanut allergies among children at high risk.

NB-InBriefApril16Feedback after the webinar was outstanding; including comments such as, “this was truly one of the most informative and best webinars you have provided,” and “the webinar was a great learning experience for me.” This underscores the importance of continuing to reach out to school nutrition professionals as part of NPB’s efforts to help promote evidence-based approaches to food allergy management in schools.

PB Exports Trending Upward

Peanut butter is a small but important conduit by which U.S. peanuts enter the global market. According to USDA’s Foreign Ag Service, peanut butter accounts for nearly 20 percent of total peanut exports. Assuming a conversion rate of 2 kilograms of peanuts per kilogram of peanut butter, U.S. peanuts exported as peanut butter, either from the United States or indirectly through Canada, totaled approximately 105,000 tons (inshell basis) in calendar year 2015. Over time, it’s likely that peanut butter exports will grow in importance as part of the overall disappearance of U.S. peanuts in the international market.

The United States has always been a major player in global peanut butter trade and continues to be the world’s largest exporter. China is the chief competitor and, together with the United States, the two countries account for nearly 80 percent of peanut butter trade. Over the past 6 years, the U.S. share of global trade (U.S. plus net Canada exports) has risen from 45 to 55 percent in a market that has grown more than 60 percent over the same period. This translates into an increase of approximately 50,000 tons, a doubling of peanut butter exports produced from U.S. peanuts since 2009.

This acceleration in peanut butter exports is a relatively recent event and reflects the changing dynamics in the global market. China’s export growth slowed in response to a growing domestic demand for peanuts and peanut oil, and the growth in global peanut butter demand since 2010 has been supplied by U.S. products.

Given current trends in the market, the United States is in a favorable position for continued export growth. The degree of U.S. growth in peanut butter exports will reflect any overall expansion of the global market.

USDA’s Oil Crop Outlook

The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service reports that an ongoing decline in India’s production will tighten the oil supply. India is the second largest producer of peanuts behind China.

Global peanut production for 2015/16 is forecast down 715,000 tons from last month to 40.1 million tons because of lower crop estimates for India, Argentina and South Africa. Indian peanut production for 2015/16 is seen 600,000 tons lower this month to 4.1 million based on a lower area estimate. While the brunt of the 2015/16 production decline may be shouldered by a reduction in peanut crushing, down 500,000 tons this month to 2.65 million, exports are also seen falling to a three-year low.

CalendarApril2016India’s oilseed production is expected to fall to a nine-year low in 2015/16. As a consequence, a reduction in peanut oil output is exacerbating the loss in other domestically produced vegetable oils this year, including soybean oil, rapeseed oil and cottonseed oil. To replace the losses in domestic production, USDA is forecasting an increase in Indian imports of palm oil and soybean oil. Soybean oil imports are seen surging 30 percent in 2015/16 to 3.65 million tons while palm oil imports may rise five percent to 9.6 million.

In Argentina, area sown for peanuts in 2015/16, which are concentrated in the province of Cordoba, did not live up to prior expectations. Low prices and planting delays because of cold October weather led to a four percent decline. With yield unchanged, the Argentine peanut production forecast was lowered by 100,000 tons to 1.07 million versus 1.19 million tons in 2014/15. Argentine peanut exports are still competitive in world trade, particularly to Europe, so the loss of supply is seen tightening 2015/16 ending stock.

NPB Approves Research Funds

The National Peanut Board held its quarterly board meeting in Atlanta recently and addressed funding for fiscal year 2016 (FY-16). For state production research projects, 51 project proposals totaling $1.98 million were reviewed and approved. Since 2001, NPB has invested more than $25 million in research to increase efficiencies for U.S. peanut farmers.

During the meeting of the Diversity Advisory Council, Leigh Allen, executive director of the National Black Growers Council (NBGC), made a presentation to the group. Bob Parker, NPB president and CEO, spoke at the Council’s annual meeting last month and encouraged minority peanut farmers’ involvement in agricultural leadership at the local and national levels. The mission of the NBGC is to improve the efficiency, productivity and sustainability of black row-crop farmers.