Peanut production in Senegal is forecast to increase by 7% in the 2022/23 marketing year, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Production in the period is forecast to reach 1.8M tonnes due to expectations of good farm gate prices, typical weather conditions and appropriate fertiliser use, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)’s Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report on 19 October.

Planted area is expected to increase by 1.6% to 1.23M ha in the period.

The USDA forecasts 2022/23 exports at 460,000 tonnes, a 15% increase compared to the previous year based on available supply and higher demand.

According to estimates by the Government of Senegal (GOS), total planted area in 2021/22 would total 1.21M ha, a 1.2% decrease compared to the previous year due to the loss of seedlings caused by interruptions of rain at the beginning of the marketing year which discouraged farmers to plant more.

The GOS estimates 2021/22 production to decrease by 6.5% to 1.68M tonnes due to a lack of rain during the growing stage. The rain started late and there were recurrent dry spells, especially in the departments of Tambacounda and Koumpentoum.

Senegal’s exports in 2021/22 are estimated at 400,000 tonnes, a decrease of 20% compared to the previous year due to available supply.

Local peanut crushing in 2021/22 increased 65% to 165,000 tonnes due to improved production capacity of the main government-owned company, Société Nationale de Commercialisation des Produits Oléagineux du Senegal (SONACOS) and the GOS’s introduction of an export tax of 30 CFA francs/kg, making local processors more competitive compared to peanut exporters.

The export tax was suspended in January 2022 due to the peanut grain’s low density.

Peanut production in 2022/23 is forecast to increase by 7% to 1.8M tonnes on expectation of good rainfall and less pest pressure during the season.

The USDA projects 2022/23 domestic consumption at 1.35M tonnes, up 4.6% from the previous year due to expectations of higher available supplies.

“Local processors will likely continue to purchase peanuts for crushing if they can outbid international buyers,” the report said.

Based on the number of processing companies that had collected peanut this year, Senegal total capacity for crushing was forecast at about 350,000 tonnes.

“The quantity processed into oil depends on the quantity collected from the farmers based on the market price. More often exporters offer a better price than processors to the farmers,” the USDA said.

Domestic consumption in the 2021/22 marketing year was estimated at 1.29M tonnes, a 7.5% increase compared to the previous year due to higher supplies and production.

The GOS’s suspension of the peanut export tax in January could be an incentive to motivate exporters to buy more peanut despite the low quality, the report said.