The USA 2017 crop is finally getting to 3.5 as of December 19, to 3.499.742 fst were inspected with only 27.954 fst of seg 2/3. A great crop as far as quality is concerned. The crop will end up being slightly bigger than 3.5 but short vs. the USA forecast of 3.8.
The quality is a blessing for the manufacturers and shellers after dealing with the 2016 crop. But it could also be a good thing dealing when looking at how the industry will deal with the carryover and surplus. The same questions remain as to what will happen to the carryover of roughly 1.5 million fst. And for some shellers and farmers storage could be an issue comes 2018 crop harvest.
The Chinese buyers have been quiet the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately, there is price gap that doesn’t seem to be bridgeable until either a help from the US government on the repayment rate or forfeitures or unless somebody is long. There is no doubt that some business is taking place but not for quantities that would help lower the carryover.
The 2017 crop market has been extremely quiet. Buyers seem to have the necessary coverage to play the market, hoping that the huge 2017 crop and its carryover will enable the price to go further down. On the other hand, most shellers don’t seem to be very long, thus do not need to lower prices. A bit of a stand still. The supply is certainly there.
Timing is key factor, next year will bring many things that need to be looked at carefully: Argentine new crop, Chinese new crop, Indian new crop, USA new crop, cotton prices (have gone up and are now at 72.80 for Dec 18), the new Farm bill, repayment rate and forfeitures.
There is a little hope about peanuts from the 2017 crop for good quality. The very long harvest took its toll not only on yields but especially on quality. They also have problems with aflatoxin, PV and FFA. The good quality was sold recently in combination with 2018 crop. On November 15, 2017, the Camara Del Mani issued plantings estimate for the 2018 crop calling for 423.000 should be planted which would represent a 5% increase vs. the previous year.
The key question though is what kind of weather Argentina will have during the growing season and harvesting taking in consideration La Nina. Will be interesting to see what kind of yields Argentina produces. The market roughly needs 500’000 mt on any given year with any overage being sold in competition with other origins. Argentina has been very aggressive selling the remainder of their 2017 crop in combination with 2018 crop. Price have been very close to us$ 1400.- CFR for blanched wholes.
In MY17/18, China’s peanut production is forecast to hit another record at 17.5 MMT, up from the estimated 17 MMT in MY16/17. China’s official peanut production number is 17.29 MMT for MY16/17.
In its October report, CNGOIC maintained its previous forecast of MY17/18 production of 18.1 MMT based on a 4.2 percent acreage growth to 4.95 MHa. Driven by strong domestic demand for peanut products, peanut farming has been the most profitable crop in many peanut-producing provinces (namely Henan, Shandong, Hebei and Liaoning).
However, some industry insiders have lower estimates for MY16/17 production. An independent source made a much lower production estimate of 10.8 MMT for MY16/17 and a forecast of 12 MMT for MY17/18. Industry traders speculate that during the past two marketing years, higher domestic peanut prices may be indicative of a lower actual peanut production than what is officially reported. That said, industry sources also report that the current peanut price hit the lowest level of the last five years. Correspondingly, peanut farmers’ income is expected to fall which then may impact peanut area and trade in the next year.
Anticipating a large domestic crop at a low price, MY17/18 imports are forecast at 250,000 tons, down from the estimated 300,000 tons for MY16/17. Peanut imports reached a record of 541,000 tons in MY15/16 primarily due to favorable prices for imported peanuts. Imports of peanuts for food use remain low due to sufficient domestic supplies.
Despite the CEC crop estimate of October 26, 2017 calling for a planting increase of 17% to 65.500 has, South Africa could be looking at a relatively big planting reduction with the dry weather that has been prevalent until now. The Free State planting time is already gone. There are still some opportunities in the North-West province but time is running out. Rand is also strengthening now with all the political pressure on president Zuma.