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World peanut production totals approximately 44 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 3.3 million metric tons. The U.S. is one of the world’s leading peanut exporters, with average annual exports of between 425,000 and 675,000 metric tons. Argentina, India, and China are other significant exporters, while origins such as Senegal, Brazil, and Nicaragua periodically enter the world market depending upon their crop quality and world market demand. In 2016, for the first time, China became a net importer of peanuts, while continuing to export kernels around the world.
Canada, Mexico and Europe account for almost 80% of U.S. exports. Historically, Canada is the largest single market for U.S. peanuts., though china took their place in 2016. 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