Peanut producers look back at 2022 peanut crop questioning what happened.  King cotton was competing for land with unbelievable prices of $130 per pound.  With inflation rampant and cost of production steady increasing, the grower sensed that inputs must be reduced when possible.

                Then the weather joined the battle with a 5-6 week drought across most of the SE belt just a most plants were starting to peg peanuts. The Southwest peanut belt had little rain all season Researchers and farmers kept seeing outbreaks of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus, but it was too late to take any preventive measures.

                War in Ukraine was said to cause fertilizer cost to soar. Gas and diesel fuel kept getting higher.  So many unknowns made a grower wonder about pricing or contracting.  Was the crop estimate accurate, was acreage really down 10% and would prices go higher if the crop was short?  The peanut picture is slowly coming into focus.


                The 2022/23 peanut yield forecast was lowered to 4,090 pounds per acre from 4,145.  Farmers reported peanut acreage at 1,411,000 acre, down 8.4%.   Total production was estimated at 2,885,500 tons, down 9.3% from last year.  FSIS has graded 2,710,738 tons by December 9.  Only 9% or 242,531 were commercial sales with 91% placed in the $375 per ton loan program.

                The quality of the 2022 crop was exceptional.  Seg. 2’s and Seg 3’s were only .0014%. 


                Peanut market remains relatively quiet at the farm level except for un-contracted peanuts. Farmers that failed to sign earlier contracts of $500-$525 per ton were chasing rumors of $625-$650 per ton with shellers offering mostly $600 per ton max. as Coops offeried less promising  later dividends. The problem is that the peanuts are in your sheller’s warehouse and that is the only price option available for un-contracted peanuts.

                  The Price Loss Coverage payments are made when the market year average (MYA) is below the reference price.  Average is based on the Average Prices paid to farmers for last year (Aug 2021-July2022).  The Peanut Market Year average (MYA) last year was $.2430 per pound or $486 per ton.

              If $486 per ton is deducted from the Reference Price ($535 per ton) whichever is highest to equal the PLC payment of $49 per ton.  This payment can only be applied to 85% of the peanut farm base.  Farm Service Agency were verified and paid to the farmer during October, 2022. 

                USDA has issued a projected MYA price based on world agricultural supply and demand estimates.  The projected MYA price of peanut in 2022 is $.2650 lb or $530 per ton.  Deducting $530 from reference price of $535 per ton means PLC payment next October would be $5 per ton. 

                    Good news from USDA/CC – Only 1,545 tons have not been redeemed by mid-December and they will likely be sold soon.  To start with 2,568,453 tons and have the loan program repaid and peanuts move into the market place is a credit to the USDA team and the buyers and merits a renewal in the new Farm Bill.

                   DOMESTIC MARKET - – Good news on domestic markets as October shows a 3% increase for shelled edible peanuts as peanut butter buys are UP 6.7%.  For the 3 month period, usage is down 0.5% as peanut butter shows a 2.7% increase for the 3 months. Peanut candy and peanut snacks posted slight declines, but still a strong market volume.

                  EXPORT MARKET - Mexico and Canada continue as best market for U.S. peanuts, Mexico up 13% and Canada up 3%..  Although China is down 45%, China is still a major market. The Netherlands and Japan continue to grow as total volume is down 9% for the 8 month period.  

                  Heading into the holidays demand for peanuts is very muted. Normally this time of year the market for next crop (23 crop) is pretty active but this year is different. Due to the high price of farmer stock for current crop and farmers getting paid $650-$700+ the chances of early contracting for 2023 crop are nil.  


                  Shellers aren’t going to contract and go long on 23 crop if buyers will not support the shelled prices and frankly farmers aren’t prepared to accept $450-$500 for farmer stock basis. The market is watching two drivers of future prices.

                    The Chinese buyer ( or lack of) and frankly, with loosening of strict COVID protocols China will be facing a potential loss of life of up to 1.5 million people. Even with a smaller Chinese crop, less is needed with restrictions in place. Don’t expect the Chinese to show interest in USA farmer stock until perhaps Fall of 2023 at the earliest.  

                  Secondly, a market driver will be the price of cotton. Priced in the 70’s cotton is not competition for peanut acres in the Spring so the assumption is we will have more peanut acres planted and thus the price of shelled product should begin to ease down in the Spring as a new and larger crop is planted.  Prices remain in the mid to low 60’s for grades today and not likely to decline. 

                In summary, the market is super quiet as buyers have good coverage and are not wanting to buy into the market at the prices it would take to find a willing seller. Supply is adequate, but we need acres increased for 2023 and how do we get them if manufacturers don’t want to pay?


2022 Est. Peanut Acreage (-8.4%)             1,411,000 acres

2022 Est. Peanut Production (- 9.3%         2,885,500 tons

2022 Market Loan 2021-2022                        2,568,453 tons

2021- 22 In Loan (12-13                                        1,545 tons

2022 Domestic Usage (3 Mo.)                         DOWN - 0.5 %

2022 Exports (Jan-Aug) (8 Mo)                      DOWN – 9.01 %

Posted Price (12-13-2022) Runners -$424.68 ton, Spanish - $413.41 ton. Valencia and Virginias - $428.31