Exports of peanuts rose in value by an overall average 191.7% since 2016 when export sales for peanuts were $3 billion.
From 2019 to 2020, overall export revenues for the popular snacking nut increased by 30.2%.
Peanuts are edible seeds of a legume crop plant unique because peanut pods grow under the soil rather than above ground.
Whole peanuts can be dry roasted, boiled, baked or eaten raw as a snack food. Peanuts are also ingredients to make peanut oil, peanut butter and peanut flour.
Little-known industrial uses for peanuts encompass paint, varnish, lubricating oil, leather dressings, furniture polish, insecticides, soap and cosmetics. Peanut shells go into making plastics, wallboard, abrasives, rayon cellulose used for paper, mucilage and fuel.
By value, the 5 biggest exporters of peanuts (Argentina, India, United States of America, Brazil and Sudan) sold 71.4% of all peanuts exported during 2020. Argentina is unique as a top peanut exporter in that it lacks a robust domestic market for its own peanuts.
Applying a continental perspective, countries in Latin America (32.8%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean supplied the highest dollar worth of exported peanuts during 2020 with shipments valued at $1.3 billion or 32.8% of the global total. In second place were exporters in Asia (28%) trailed by those in Africa (16.1%), North America (14.6%), Europe (8.4%), and Oceania (0.1%) led by Australia.
Shifting our focus to imports, the 5 leading importers of peanuts in 2020 were mainland China, Netherlands, Indonesia, Germany and Russia. Combined, that quintet of top import countries bought just over half (51.4%) of globally imported peanuts as measured by dollar value.
The above percentages suggest the total 107 exporters of peanuts (71.4% for the corresponding top 5 exporters) is a more concentrated cohort compared to 172 buying countries, islands and territories. The top 5 importers accounted for a much smaller portion of its world total at 51.4%.
As for global imports of peanuts by continent, 42.9% of peanuts purchased on international markets was delivered to customers in Asia just ahead of importers in Europe (42.1%) then North America (7.5%), Africa (3.9%), Latin America (2.2%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (1.3%) led by Australia.
We calculated the average unit price paid by importers of peanuts still in-shell to be $907 per ton in 2020. That dollar amount reflects a -18.5% decrease from the average tonnage rate of $1,113 during 2019.
Exports of shelled peanuts demand a higher unit price. For shelled peanuts, the average unit price paid by importers was $1,220 per ton in 2020 up 1.5% from the average tonnage rate of $1,202 for 2019. The higher average price results in part from labor costs and other processing expenses.
For research purposes, the 6-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 120241 for peanuts in shell, and 120242 for shelled peanuts. Note that peanuts are classified under oil seeds and are sometimes called groundnuts.
Drilling down on those categories, 90.5% of peanuts exported worldwide by value were for shelled peanuts. The remaining 9.5% was paid for peanuts in shell.
Top Peanuts Exports by Country
Below are the top 20 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of peanuts during 2020, regardless of whether the shipped peanuts were in-shell or shelled.
- Argentina: US$860.4 million (21.9% of total exported peanuts)
- India: $749.3 million (19.1%)
- United States: $573.4 million (14.6%)
- Brazil: $318.9 million (8.1%)
- Sudan: $304.6 million (7.7%)
- Netherlands: $234.6 million (6%)
- China: $204.9 million (5.2%)
- Senegal: $197.6 million (5%)
- Nicaragua: $89.7 million (2.3%)
- Vietnam: $65.9 million (1.7%)
- Malawi: $39.6 million (1%)
- Germany: $31.5 million (0.8%)
- Belgium: $25.7 million (0.7%)
- Israel: $23.2 million (0.6%)
- South Africa: $16.8 million (0.4%)
- Uzbekistan: $16.5 million (0.4%)
- United Arab Emirates: $9.5 million (0.2%)
- Myanmar: $8.6 million (0.2%)
- Madagascar: $8.27 million (0.2%)
- Turkey: $6.28 million (0.2%)
By value, the listed 20 countries shipped 96.3% of globally exported peanuts in 2020.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing peanuts exporters since 2019 were: Myanmar also called Burma (up 312.2%), Sudan (up 147.7%), Argentina (up 98.7%) and South Africa (up 71.2%).
Four countries posted declines in their exported peanuts sales namely: mainland China (down -22.3%), Madagascar (down -18.6%), Belgium (down -15%) and Nicaragua (down -7.4%).
Top Peanuts Imports by Country
Overall spending on imported peanuts expanded by 170.6% over the 5-year period starting in 2016 and increased by 23.6% year over year since 2019.
Below are the 20 best buying markets as measured by the highest dollar value worth of peanuts imported during 2020, for any peanuts regardless of whether shelled or not.
- China: US$835.6 million (20.3% of total imported peanuts)
- Netherlands: $537.1 million (13.1%)
- Indonesia: $336.9 million (8.2%)
- Germany: $213.6 million (5.2%)
- Russia: $189.6 million (4.6%)
- United Kingdom: $177.2 million (4.3%)
- Vietnam: $151.1 million (3.7%)
- Canada: $147.9 million (3.6%)
- Mexico: $143.5 million (3.5%)
- Poland: $98.2 million (2.4%)
- Italy: $85.7 million (2.1%)
- Spain: $75.3 million (1.8%)
- Algeria: $68.7 million (1.7%)
- Thailand: $68.1 million (1.7%)
- Malaysia: $67.9 million (1.7%)
- France: $65.7 million (1.6%)
- Australia: $41.4 million (1%)
- Belgium: $40.3 million (1%)
- South Africa: $39.7 million (1%)
- Ukraine: $39 million (0.9%)
By value, the listed 20 countries bought 83.2% of globally imported peanuts in 2020.
Among the top importers, the fastest-growing peanuts importers since 2019 were: mainland China (up 159.8%), United Kingdom (up 42.7%), Australia (up 37.5%) and Vietnam (up 35.6%).
Those countries that posted declines in their imports of peanuts were led by: Mexico (down -5.9%), Indonesia (down -3.5%), South Africa (down -3.4%), Russia (down -3%) and Italy (down -1.5%).
Imported In-Shell Peanuts: Lowest and Highest Unit Prices
In 2020, the world’s average unit price for imports of in-shell peanuts was US$907 per ton.
The average tonnage charge for the number one importer of unshelled peanuts, mainland China, was lower at $569.
Ranked in ascending order, listed below are the countries paying the lowest average unit prices for imported in-shell peanuts in 2020.
- Burkina Faso: US$11 per ton (down -86.4% from 2019)
- Mali: $37 per ton (down -50%)
- Guinea: $85 per ton (down -3.4%)
- Honduras: $91 per ton (2019 data unavailable)
- Niger: $123 per ton (up 41.4%)
- Kenya: $143 per ton (down -89.9%)
- Timor-Leste: $158 per ton (2019 data unavailable)
- Liberia: $191 per ton (2019 data unavailable)
- Ghana: $212 per ton (up 34.2%)
- Botswana: $267 per ton (down -85.2%)
- Burundi: $346 per ton (2019 data unavailable)
- Philippines: $364 per ton (up 58.3%)
- Zambia: $411 per ton (up 927.5%)
- Laos: $450 per ton (2019 data unavailable)
- South Africa: $508 per ton (down -29%)
There were 5 double-digit reductions in average unit price paid per ton for in-shell peanuts from 2019 to 2020 namely low-cost importers Kenya (down -89.9%), Burkina Faso (down -86.4%), Botswana (down -85.2%), Mali (down -50%) and South Africa (down -29%).
The following countries paid the highest average unit prices for imported in-shell peanuts.
- Mozambique: US$14,000 per ton (2019 data unavailable)
- Nigeria: $9,000 per ton (2019 data unavailable)
- New Zealand: $4,857 per ton (up 42.9% from 2019)
- Ireland: $4,333 per ton (down -3.7%)
- Maldives: $4,300 per ton (up 97.8%)
- Bahamas: $4,143 per ton (up 42%)
- Somalia: $4,000 per ton (2019 data unavailable)
- Malawi: $3,803 per ton (down -18.3%)
- Norway: $3,167 per ton (up 14.7%)
- Gibraltar: $3,000 per ton (up 9.1%)
- United States: $2,667 per ton (2019 data unavailable)
- Switzerland: $2,654 per ton (up 7.8%)
- Seychelles: $2,400 per ton (down -52%)
- Slovenia: $2,306 per ton (down -16.3%)
- Moldova: $2,250 per ton (up 58.7%)
The 5 double-digit accelerations in terms of higher average unit prices paid in 2020 compared to 2019 were experienced by importers in Maldives (up 97.8%), Moldova (up 58.7%), New Zealand (up 42.9%), Bahamas (up 42%) and Norway (up 14.7%).
Imported Shelled Peanuts: Lowest and Highest Unit Prices
In 2020, the world’s average unit price for imports of shelled peanuts was US$1,220 per ton.
The average tonnage charge for the number one importer of shelled peanuts, mainland China, was lesser at $854.
Ranked in ascending order, listed below are the countries paying the lowest average unit prices for imported peanuts in 2020 that that have already had their shells removed.
- Benin: US$18 per ton (2019 data unavailable)
- Burkina Faso: $31 per ton (down -29.5% from 2019)
- Mali: $40 per ton (down -73.9%)
- Congo: $94 per ton (up 6.8%)
- Ghana: $103 per ton (up 2%)
- Mauritania: $116 per ton (up 4.5%)
- Ivory Coast: $120 per ton (up 22.4%)
- Guinea: $125 per ton (up 48.8%)
- Togo: $177 per ton (up 15.7%)
- Liberia: $244 per ton (down -7.9%)
- Uganda: $250 per ton (up 56.3%)
- Cambodia: $353 per ton (down -7.8%)
- Niger: $357 per ton (up 402.8%)
- Burundi: $364 per ton (2019 data unavailable)
- Philippines: $460 per ton (up 1.3%)
The 4 reductions in average unit price paid per ton for shelled peanuts from 2019 to 2020 belong to low-cost importers in Mail (down -73.9%), Burkina Faso (down -29.5%), Liberia (down -7.9%) and Cambodia (down -7.8%).
The following countries paid the highest average unit prices for imported peanuts without their shells .
- Mozambique: US$7,004 per ton (up 124.1% from 2019)
- Cook Islands: $5,000 per ton (up 150%)
- Somalia: $4,333 per ton (up 333.3%)
- Bahamas: $4,000 per ton (down -23.1%)
- Marshall Islands: $4,000 per ton (up 33.3%)
- French Polynesia: $3,333 per ton (down -16.7%)
- Iceland: $3,174 per ton (down -1.2%)
- Angola: $3,000 per ton (up 825.9%)
- Mongolia: $2,833 per ton (down -19.1%)
- Curaçao: $2,714 per ton (2019 data unavailable)
- Democratic Republic Congo: $2,500 per ton (up 25%)
- Saint Lucia: $2,333 per ton (down -15.2%)
- Switzerland: $2,159 per ton (up 11.5%)
- Montenegro: $2,090 per ton (down -6.9%)
- Japan: $2,055 per ton (up 3.5%)
The 5 greatest increases in terms of higher average unit prices paid in 2020 compared to 2019 were experienced by importers of shelled peanuts in Angola (up 825.9%), Somalia (up 333.3%), Cook Islands (up 150%), Mozambique (up 124.1%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (up 25%).
See also Top Almonds Exporters by Country, Top Chickpeas Exports & Imports by Country, Top Walnut Exporters by Country, Top Cardamoms Exports & Imports by Country Plus Average Prices and Top Chestnuts Exports & Imports by Country Plus Average Prices
Alibaba, Peanut Showroom. Accessed on February 15, 2022
SNACKEX, Conference Presentation Future Peanut Sourcing for Europe. Accessed on February 15, 2022
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on February 15, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on February 15, 2022
Wikipedia, Peanut. Accessed on February 15, 2022