February peanut stocks down from last year, says USDA

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Peanut

US peanut stocks reported in commercial storage at the end of last
month were down on last year's stocks, according to statistics
released yesterday by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The agency's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) also reported that season to date utilization of shelled edible peanuts was also down four percent from last year. According to the service's latest Peanut Stocks and Processing report, commercially stored stocks of the popular nut as reported on February 28 2007 totaled 3.31 billion pounds of equivalent farmer stock, compared with 3.85 billion pounds last year. This total includes 2.42 billion pounds of actual farmer stock. Shelled peanuts on hand totaled 830 million pounds of farmer stock equivalent. Roasting stock totaled 52.8 million pounds, said NAAS. Shelled peanut stocks totaled 624 million pounds of which 591 million pounds were edible grades and 33.7 million pounds were oil stock. Edible grade stocks by type included 140 million pounds of Virginias and Valencias, 417 million pounds of Runners, and 34.1 million pounds of Spanish. Commercial processors utilized 125 million pounds of shelled edible grade peanuts during February. Utilization by type was 71.9 million pounds for all peanut butter products, 26.8 million pounds for peanut candy, and 25.0 million pounds for snack peanuts. Crushing for oil and cake and meal totaled 28.5 million pounds during the month. With decreasing prices and increasing production of peanuts, US demand for peanuts has remained strong over the last decade and a half, with USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) estimates placing per capita demand in 2003 at 6.3 pounds. This is lower than the 1989 high of 7 pounds per capita, although per capita consumption has remained relatively stable since the mid 1990s, according to researchers at the University of California's Agricultural Issues Center. Current global production of peanut oil is set at 4.93 million metric tons, with manufacturers starting to turn to peanut oil as a 'healthier' oil option. This makes up just over 4 percent of global vegetable oil production. US peanuts fall into four basic types: Runner, Virginia, Spanish and Valencia. Each of these peanuts is distinctive in size and flavor. According to the nation's Peanut Council, seven states account for approximately 99 percent of all peanuts grown in the US. Georgia grows the major proportion of all peanuts (41 percent), followed by Texas (24 percent), Alabama (10 percent), North Carolina (9 percent), Florida (6 percent), Virginia (5 percent), and Oklahoma (5 percent). There are approximately 25,000 peanut farmers in the major producing regions.

Related topics: Fruit, vegetable, nut ingredients

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