While the United States continues to be the world’s largest exporter of peanut butter, recent trade statistics show increasing competition from other exporters.
For the year ending September 30, 2017, the United States. exported nearly 46,000 tons of peanut butter representing nearly one-third of global trade. This equates to about 90,000 tons of U.S. peanuts or approximately 13 percent of total U.S. exports (peanuts + peanut equivalent in peanut butter).
Canada remains the largest market for U.S. peanut butter, accounting for over one-third of exports, and the largest source of imported peanut butter. Netting out cross border trade with Canada (U.S. exports to Canada minus Canada’s exports to the U.S.) raises the U.S. global export share to 37 percent.
Net trade with Canada, which peaked at near 7,000 metric metric tons in the 12 months ending in early 2015, has declined to less than 3,000 tons today, primarily on the strength of growing Canadian exports to the U.S.
While U.S. exports to Canada have remained constant, U.S. exports to other markets have fallen 5,000 tons to near 32,000 tons. The result has been a decline in the U.S. global export share from 35 to 32 percent (all trade) and 44 to 37 percent (excluding cross-border trade with Canada) since mid-2015.
While the combined export share of the four major peanut exporting countries, Argentina, China, India and the United States, has remained nearly constant at 60 percent, the U.S. share has fallen. Much of this is being taken by India, with gains likely in the value end of the market, while more modest gains are attributed to other exporters.
With a larger crop this year, the United States has the potential to gain back some lost market share. However, competition is expected to remain strong, particularly in price-sensitive markets.