World's Largest Peanut Exporter
With a record-large 750,000 ton crop currently being harvested, Argentina ranks sixth among peanut producers but will surpass China and the U.S. to become the world's largest peanut exporter in 1997/98. Following a poor crop in 1996/97 impacted by severe drought, producers increased area by 50 percent in 1997/98. The larger area combined with good rains and growing conditions will raise production by 150 percent from last year. With China's production and exports down 1.3 million tons and 66 percent from last year respectively, Argentina should have little trouble moving the additional peanuts into export channels. Argentine exports are projected at 530,000 tons, more than three times higher than exports in 1996/97. India will also increase peanut exports in 1997/98 taking advantage of reduced exports from China to nearby Asian markets. U.S. exports, constrained by a slight decline in production and increased competition from Argentina and India, will increase only slightly in 1997/98 to 318,000 tons.
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