Booming Export Market Expected To Help Oversupply of Peanuts; Co - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Booming Export Market Expected To Help Oversupply of Peanuts; Could Mean Better Prices For 2013

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"After several tough years we were blessed in 2012 to have a good peanut crop," said Beaver Yoder.

Yoder grows peanuts on his farm located at the Calhoun-Jackson County line and his farm wasn't the only one who saw a good crop. Every state that grew peanuts in 2012 had a good yield...making for one never seen before harvest across the nation.

"Right now we have a supply of peanuts in the USA of about 3.5 million tons and demand is about 2.1 million tons, so we have an extreme over supply of peanuts," said Ken Barton, Executive Director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association.

He says when supply and demand don't match-up, farmers yield the effects.

"Since we have an oversupply we're looking at 2013 as a down market for our crop," said Yoder.

In fact, the shelling industry isn't offering any contracts yet for this year's peanut crop.

"You can plant as many acres as you want, said Yoder. "But if there are no contracts offered, that will be your safety net price, a 355."

Yoder says $355 is below production costs. However, a robust export market could help match the demand to the abundant supply and ultimately affect this year's prices.

"We have countries importing USA grown peanuts that have never imported USA peanuts before," said Barton.

China, Columbia, and Vietnam are just a few that are importing USA peanuts for the first time, meaning the salty snack grown right here in the Panhandle is making their way overseas.

"China is buying tremendous amounts of peanut," said Barton. "They are in the process right now importing from USA 350 to 400,000 tons of peanuts."

It's exciting news for farmers like Barton and Yoder.

"What makes me proud is the fact that we grow a safe food that we can export to other countries and therefore that's part of the reason why we have an increase in exports," said Yoder.

But while exciting, Barton said, "I would advise farmers to not get too anxious yet. Be very patient and lets hope this robust export market continues."

Barton says the domestic market, meaning peanut butter, is also increasing. If that and the export market continue to rise, farmers have a good chance of seeing good prices for 2013.