Too Many Peanuts?

2017 was a very productive year for peanut growers in South Carolina and the rest of the United States. But was it too productive?

South Carolina peanut growers at the 39th annual South Carolina Peanut Growers’ Meeting were told production in the United States for 2017 is estimated to be beyond expected domestic and export demand. This excess supply may have helped put the U.S. peanut market in a holding pattern. Nathan Smith is a Clemson Extension economist and professor at the Clemson Sandhill Research and Education Center in Columbia…

“Two thousand seventeen was a record year for South Carolina as far as peanut production goes…One hundred twenty thousand planted acres which was a record and then a record yield according to NASS at two tons, or four thousand pounds per acre. The farmers enjoyed a good year on production wise, best they’ve had. Market wise, prices were up some last year from where they were the year before which was at a very low price. It’s looking like two thousand eighteen with the big crop that we will probably see prices respond to that and fall back down maybe to two thousand sixteen levels maybe not that low, but overall when you look at usage and consumption, we’ve got strong demand in the peanut sector for peanuts. The key will be exports and whether we can — the large crop is going to add to the stocks to carry over into two thousand eighteen marketing year and so we’ll either have to increase exports or probably reduce some makers of peanuts for two thousand eighteen.”