Peanut Market News- May 1, 2017

CANADA SETS NEW PEANUT IMPORT RECORD 

The American Peanut Council reports that peanut exports to Canada have continued to grow; increasing 7% over 2015 to a record 118,937 metric tons for all peanut products, market leader behind China.

APC continues to promote U.S. peanuts in Canada, not only by communicating with consumers through social media and influencers (such as dieticians), but has also by partnering with the retail trade to encourage eating more peanuts and peanut products.

Using incentives for in-store ads, APC encourages retailers in Canada to buy U.S. inshells.  More ads mean more sales and Inshell exports to Canada were up 25% in 2016, a year when inshell exports were down elsewhere in the world.  In 2017, APC added activities to promote private label peanut butter at retail as well. Thirty-four major food retailers featured peanut butter for 7 weeks or more during the first quarter of the year.

 Though sales data for 2017 is not yet available, Nielsen research commissioned by APC shows that peanut butter sales inside Canada topped $235 million in 2016, a 3% increase from the year prior. Smooth peanut butter remains the favorite, with 69% share, but crunchy preference is growing. Canada is the number one export market for processed peanut butter.  Kraft remains the most popular brand in Canada, but Jif re-entered the market after a few years’ hiatus in 2017 and has already seen success as the products are being added to shelves nationwide.  APC will continue to promote peanuts using USDA/MAP funds.

 

FINALLY, A RAIN IN THE SE PEANUT BELT 

The U.S. Southeast peanut belt has been suffering from a moderate drought and some farmers have had to delay planting waiting for soil moisture to improve, especially in Georgia.  May 4 brought rain showers for Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, where 76% of the U.S. peanut production is located. One to two inches were being reported in most locations. Peanut farmers have been warned about planting too early as heavy flights of thrips have been reported, which helps spread Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus. The rain was welcomed news, however, temperatures are expected to drop to mid-50’s before a warm up next week.  Cold, wet soils will delay planting.  

 

A WORD FROM THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE  

Gary Cooper, CEO of Southeast Ag Net Radio Network was in Washington this week for a media briefing with the new U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue.  Gary reminded Secretary Perdue that his friend and former classmate, Tyron Spearman, was on the radio staff with a daily “Farm & Ranch Headlines” Show and any advice for peanut folks? 

               Secretary Perdue replied, “We’ve not had any discussions about peanuts right now.  I don’t see any changes there. I think Tyron and his peanut guys from Georgia, Alabama, the Carolinas, Texas will be well served by the trade negotiations.  The good thing about our peanuts is that they are high quality and received very well across the country.”

               Secretary Perdue added, “If you talk to Tyron, tell him I could use some of those ‘fried’ peanut butter and jelly sandwiches up here!”  (laughter).  Message received.

 

2017 CONTRACTS

SE Not active at this time, just one on one.  $450-475 per ton, $50 per ton premium for High Oleic production.  Some $450 per ton reduced to $425 per ton for freight differential,   Some shellers said they are off the market.

VC – $500 per ton for regular Virginias (Bailey and Sullivans, etc).   $475 per ton being offered for HO Runners and $450 per ton for non HO runners, GA 06G with no restrictions.  Seed production premium is usually $25 per ton. Some limits.

SW – contract prices presently; $ 500 HO runner, $ 525 HO commercial Spanish, $ 550 HO Virginia.

2016 FLEX:  $400 ton base price = 0.52.  For each 0.01 increase in price above 0.52, add $ 13.50 ton up to a maximum of 0.61. Present price is 0.60, which equals $0.06 increase, or a price of $508 per ton. Maximum price achievable at 0.61 is $ 521.50. 

Some shellers still offering $500 per ton for any 2016 peanuts in loan, but uncontracted.  Some isolated areas even higher.

 

IMPACT OF GENERIC BASE ON PEANUTS 

During the recent testimony on the Peanut Program, the SPFF made it clear that the generic base has not increased peanut acreage. The cotton industry opted for the STAX program in the 2014 Farm Bill while cotton producers maintained their generic base acres. These generic base acres are available to any covered commodity in the 2014 Farm Bill.

This Committee wisely established a program allowing growers to keep these base acres. Without these base acres, the current struggling farm economy would be much worse. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) February 2017 data examined the allocation of generic base acres and updated the program payments for covered commodities planted on these generic base acres.

  • For the 2014 crop year, only approximately 58% of the generic base acres were allocated to a covered commodity.
  • Approximately 7.4 million generic base acres were not utilized by cotton farmers for the 2014 crop year.
  • Approximately 32% of the generic base acres assigned to soybeans.
  • 26% of the generic base acres assigned to wheat.
  • 19% of the generic base acres assigned to corn.
  • 13% of the generic base acres assigned to grain sorghum.
  • Only 7% of the generic base acres assigned to peanuts.
  • Less than 53% of the 2014 peanut certified acres had generic acres attributed.

Were there significant changes in these planting ratios for the 2015 crop year? The answer is no.

  • Approximately 61% of the generic base acres were allocated to a covered commodity.
  • Approximately 7 million generic base acres were not utilized by cotton farmers.
  • Approximately 90% of the generic base acres were assigned to soybeans, wheat, corn and grain sorghum.
  • Only 8.7% of the generic base acres assigned to peanuts.
  • Approximately 57% of the 2015 peanut certified acres had generic acres attributed. Based on USDA deadlines for the 2016 crop year, it is assumed that the 2016 ratios will not differ significantly from 2015 data. Source: Nat. Ctr for Peanut Competitiveness.

 

 

SONNY PERDUE CONFIRMED AS U.S. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE 

Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by fellow Georgian and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas.  The U.S. Senate confirmed Secretary Perdue by a vote of 87-to-11 on Monday evening.  Cousin Senator David Perdue voted present.

 Perdue told USDA employees, “As secretary, I will champion the concerns of farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers, and will work tirelessly to solve the issues facing our farm families,” Perdue said.  “I am proud to have been given this opportunity and look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work as we continue to move the USDA and our nation forward.”

President Donald J. Trump said, “Sonny Perdue is going to accomplish great things as Secretary of Agriculture. From growing up on a farm to being governor of a big agriculture state, he has spent his whole life understanding and solving the challenges our farmers face, and he is going to deliver big results for all Americans who earn their living off the land.”

Perdue came by his knowledge of agriculture the old fashioned way: he was born into a farming family in Bonaire, GA.  From childhood and through his life in business and elected office, Perdue has experienced the industry from every possible perspective.  He is uniquely qualified as a former farmer, agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and former governor of GA.

Perdue’s views on agriculture have always been shaped by his first-hand knowledge of all of its aspects, both as a farmer and as an agribusinessman.  He appreciates the daily concerns and needs of American farmers, while also understanding the intricacies of global commodities markets.  He is acknowledged as a national leader in agriculture, having served as a board member for the National Grain & Feed Association, and as President of both the Georgia Feed and Grain Association and the Southeastern Feed and Grain Association. Perdue has long-standing, close relationships with the leadership of the National Farm Bureau and has been recognized by the Georgia 4-H and FFA programs, among others, for his leadership in agriculture.

As the product of Georgia, a state where agriculture is the leading economic driver, Perdue recognizes that agriculture is an issue and industry which cuts across political party boundaries.  He recognizes that the size, scope, and diversity of America’s agricultural sector often requires reaching across the aisle so that partisanship doesn’t get in the way of good solutions for American farmers, ranchers, and consumers.

Perdue has been married to Mary Ruff Perdue for 44 years and has four adult children and fourteen grandchildren.  He and his wife have served as foster parents for eight children awaiting adoption.  Perdue remains a licensed airplane and helicopter pilot and avid outdoor sportsman.  Congratulations to a great friend, Sonny Perdue.

 

GOLDEN TO UPGRADE ARGENTINA FACILITIES 

Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts has announced that it is investing in a significant upgrade to its peanut processing facility in Alejandro Roca, Cordoba, Argentina. The upgrade plans include the addition of an in-house blancher and the construction of a cold storage warehouse. 

“We’re continuing to upgrade our capabilities to serve customers in Argentina and Europe,” said Carlos Urquiza, president and general manager of Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts’ operations in Argentina. “An in-house blancher and onsite cold storage will enhance both peanut quality and peanut life at our Alejandro Roca facility. Combined with the new storage facility that we announced in January, the result will be substantially enhanced capabilities for Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts in Argentina – from more efficient unloading to the very highest quality products for our customers, both locally and in the EU markets that we serve from Argentina.” The project will break ground June, 2017.

 “We are committed to remaining the provider of choice for peanut and tree nut customers around the globe,” said Greg Mills, president, Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts. “Our customers expect the very best from Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts, and we are investing in our business to ensure we live up to those expectations.”

 

MARSHALL EXPLAINS SUSTAINABILITY & THE PEANUT 

Dr. Marshall Lamb of the National Peanut Lab told attendees at the Peanut Seed Short Course that “Sustainability” is a grass roots recognition of consumers and industries that purchasing patterns are directly affect the economic and environmental impact of agriculture and this recognition is changing purchasing patterns.

Sustainability exists throughout the entire peanut supply chain and is marketable to consumers, if you have a good story. Peanuts have an excellent story to tell.

              Our Sustainable Footprint is because of the inherent properties of the peanut as well as proactive industry initiatives: Here are a few – Rooting (depth and lateral structure), Indeterminate Flowering and Fruiting, Leaf thickness and structure, Canopy structure, Foliage biomass relative to root mass, Water use efficiency, Legume & efficient fertilizer use, Global Position System Technology, Irrigation improvements (Advanced Scheduling, Efficiency Improvements), Information delivery, Proactive industry commitment at all levels, Genetics, Pest Management options, Majority of peanuts in ~50” rainfall per year, Peanuts are produced as an annual crop, Crop Rotations and Yield.

              Marshall said, “I would argue that US peanuts are sustainability produced, handled, processed, and delivered to consumer.  Major retailers are increasingly emphasizing sustainable products for shelf space, and sustainability is in the top 3 marketable traits that influence consumer purchasing patterns. The peanut industry is moving ahead to make this a priority.

 

SPEARMAN UPDATES PEANUT MARKETS 

Tyron Spearman, Executive Secretary of the National Peanut Buying Points, told attendees at the Peanut Seed Short Course that he believes the Market Loan will sell out of inventory by October.  He predicted that the PLC payment will be between $140-$150 per base ton.(applied to 85% of the farm base).  Prices should remain strong for farmer stock in both the 2016 tonnage in the loan and 2017 peanuts.  The peanut program should continue in the Farm Bill.  Markets are becoming stronger reducing government payments as farmer stock contacts are $475-$500 per ton and higher. 

 China will continue to buy U.S. and are strongly searching for ways to get involved with the buying and shelling.  Spearman said that government purchases will likely be reduced due to higher priced raw product and budget cuts, but peanuts are still the lowest priced vegetable protein.  More and more non-profits are conducting ‘hunger drives’ urging patrons to bring peanut butter, the perfect protein.  Look for more nutrition discoveries that peanuts are good for you, including diabetes 2. Look for even more advancements on peanut allergies.  Spearman said the platform of positives have been laid for a great future for peanuts and peanut products.  As an industry, the challenge is get the story to the consumers at home and abroad. 

 

FROM HEALTH & FITNESS 

Nuts and seeds are terrific sources of vitamin E, which can help prevent cognitive decline as you age. Other vitamin E-rich foods include eggs and cooked veggies. And it’s not just your brain that benefits from nuts; your heart will be happier too. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachios, and peanuts have been linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.


ARGENTINA PEANUTS HIT AGAIN WITH RAIN

U.S. peanut exports continued strong in February, same as last month, up 12.2%.  Raw shelled peanuts were up 17.7% with Canada and Mexico top buyers.  In-Shell exports were up 7.2% over last year with China continuing to buy.  Vietnam was third.  Peanut Butter exports were down 11.3% with Canada the amazing top buyer.  Value of the exports was over $389 million, up 0.7% over last year. Some quality issues from the 2016 crop, but shellers are working through those.

Just as Argentina farmers started to gather the new crop, the fields have been hit with 15 days of rain.  The climatic conditions practically stopped the digging and harvesting tasks in most of the main peanut production area.  Peanuts dug are very few and almost no harvesting.

This climate situation has generated the logical concern in the entire sector of peanut production, because the risk of production and quality losses can start occurring, because of the delay in the digging of those peanuts that already have a good maturity and of the impossibility of harvesting those peanuts that have already been dug. Officials say it is a good crop.

Officials report that the abundant rains not only caused inconveniences to the peanut cultivars due to the flooding in lots or production fields, but also they are generating in the low regions a continuous rise of the aquifer, which causes “lack of soil” and with it the impossibility of accessing to the lots with the machines to  dig and harvest. On day-to-day the difficulties for entering to the fields grow because of the deterioration of the rural road network. All this will add another difficulty to develop timely and efficiently the digging and harvesting tasks.  Forecast is a window of at least 5days starting Wednesday as farmers will keep digging and perhaps a couple of days for threshing.  Too early to estimate losses but some are expected.

via Peanut Farm Market News, a peanut hotline service of The Spearman Agency, Tyron Spearman, editor