U.S. Peanut Exports Seen by Oil World Surging on Indian Controls

U.S. peanut exports are forecast to jump 83 percent in the current season as Chinese buyers turn to American producers to replace Indian supplies, Oil World said.

U.S. shipments of peanuts, also known as groundnuts, are predicted to climb to 350,000 metric tons in the 2012-13 crop year through September, the Hamburg-based industry researcher wrote in an e-mailed report today. That compares with 191,000 tons in the previous period.

India, the biggest exporter of the legume in 2011-12, has implemented controls that will cause shipments to fall “severely,” according to Oil World. Most of the nation’s producers lack the food-safety systems required to meet new standards for aflatoxin levels set by the government, it said.

“The Indian government’s decision to control exports of groundnuts will have major repercussions on world trade,” Oil World said. “We hear that demand from Chinese buyers has shifted to the U.S. to at least partly compensate.”

India’s peanut exports are predicted to slump to 240,000 tons from 696,000 tons, according to Oil World. Deliveries by Argentina may increase to 600,000 tons in 2012-13 from 530,000 tons, based on the report.

“U.S. groundnut exports to China were negligible in recent years but are likely to increase massively in coming months,” Oil World wrote. “Prices are likely to appreciate on the world market, given that a large part of the supplies from the major exporter India is withheld.”

Oil World said it expects “stiff competition” for peanuts from other origins, primarily the U.S. and Argentina. Peanuts were among commodities for which costs rose in the quarter through October, Orrville, Ohio-based J.M. Smucker Co., whose Jif brand is the leader in the U.S. peanut-butter market, said Nov. 16 as it reported earnings for the period.

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