Fall harvest of new crop U.S. peanuts: Relief anticipated

Who could have predicted last year's perfect peanut storm! In 2011, the combination of reduced peanut acreage, coupled with severe drought and high heat experienced by many U.S. peanut-producing states (especially in Texas), resulted in lower-than-normal yields and ultimately today's significantly tightened availability. In 2012, it's anticipated that more acreage may be devoted to high-value U.S. peanuts versus other row crops such as corn, cotton and sorghum in peanut-producing states. In a recent report by the United States Department of Agriculture, it is prospected that due to the higher demand for peanuts, peanut growers intend to increase their peanut planting by 25 per cent in 2012.

Canadian importers, manufacturers and roasters along with their trusted foodservice sector partners are well aware that in order to provide their customers and consumers alike with continued value in the short-term, they must work together to best manage this year's remaining inventory. Demand for peanut butter and in-shell and shelled peanuts remain as popular as ever and continue to provide Canadians with tremendous per serving value.

Despite markedly higher peanut stock prices in 2011, U.S. peanut exports to Canada grew by a phenomenal 17 per cent last year! And though U.S. (and worldwide) peanut stocks are expected to remain "tight" in the near-term, it's vital that the trade takes into consideration that the first 2012 new crop U.S. peanuts will be harvested and available in six short months (i.e., mid-September onwards).

Hopefully this year's anticipated increase in U.S. peanut acreage and return to at least average (or better) yields this fall will alleviate the industry's current stock challenges and bring supply and demand requirements into much closer balance.