China peanut imports will reach a record high in MY 2019/20, rising to nearly 1.4 million tons and one-third of global trade in peanuts. For the first time, China will be the largest import market, surpassing the next-largest market (the European Union) by more than 40 percent.
MY 2019/20 will also be the first year China is a net importer of peanuts. China’s imports in 2020/21 will remain high but are forecast to fall year-on-year due to lower exportable supplies.
China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of peanuts. Prior to 2014/15, China’s domestic production was largely sufficient to meet steadily rising local demand.
In the past 5 years, China has begun importing larger quantities of peanuts, mostly for crushing into meal for feed and oil for food use. While China’s 2019/20 imports are a record high, they will only represent 7 percent of its domestic consumption.
China’s breakneck peanut imports are driven by slow domestic production growth and record-high global beginning stocks in 2019/20 that made imports more attractive.
Chinese importers took advantage of all-time-high stocks in Senegal and Sudan as well as large U.S. stocks. Together these three countries account for nearly 90 percent of China’s imports in 2019/20 as of June.