World peanut production totals approximately 29 million metric tons per year, with the U.S. being the world’s third largest producer, after China and India. Worldwide peanut exports are approximately 1.25 million metric tons. The U.S. is one of the world’s leading peanut exporters, with average annual exports of between 200,000 and 250,000 metric tons. Argentina and China are other significant exporters, while origins such as India, Vietnam, and several African countries periodically enter the world market depending upon their crop quality and world market demand.
Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Japan account for over 80% of U.S. exports. The largest export markets within Europe are the Netherlands, the U.K., Germany, and Spain.
Demand for peanuts in North America and Europe has been steady, although competition within a dynamic snack market continues to put pressure on peanuts to compete with a growing range of products (potato chips, extruded snacks, tree nuts, and baked snacks). In addition, quality specifications, food safety concerns and import requirements continue to require the implementation of improved monitoring and quality control standards at origin. In response to customer demands, U.S. producers, shellers and processors implement oversight and inspection procedures at each stage of production to ensure that the highest quality standards are achieved.
The American Peanut Council manages an export promotion program on behalf of the industry, and utilizes funds from the United States Department of Agriculture's Market Access Promotion Program, as well as the Foreign Market Development Program. These funds are used primarily to focus on the trade, and are targeted to key markets. To learn more, visit the USDA's Foreign Agriculture website at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/.