Introduction of Chinese Peanuts Industry
- Description: The peanut was introduced to China by Portuguese traders in the 1600s and another variety by American missionaries in the 1800s. They became popular and are featured in many Chinese dishes, often bein
The peanut was introduced to China by Portuguese traders in the 1600s and another variety by American missionaries in the 1800s. They became popular and are featured in many Chinese dishes, often being boiled. During the 1980s peanut production began to increase greatly so that as of 2006 China was the world's largest peanut producer. In the year 2003 total peanut production in China has reached to 15 million tons, that constitutes 42% of the total world production.
Peanut is an important oilseed crop in Chinese agricultural system. Over the decades, peanut has remained top ranked oilseed crop. Its cultivation history in the country can be traced to ancient times. However, the large increase in peanut production has been recorded since 1980's. Currently, China is the largest peanut producing country in the world accounting for about two-fifths of the world production. In terms of area it ranks second only to India accounting for one-fifth of the total world aceage. Although peanut is grown in different parts of the country, Shandong is the major peanut producing area accounting for about 23 percent of area and 35% of production of the entire nation.
International and Provincial Trade
The actual extent of trade is unknown, but regional and international trade of peanut has existed for a long time and is growing. The way for intra-and inter-provincial trade has been opened substantially by the easing the strict local self-sufficiency requirements since 1978. Chinese government encourages production of any product that earns hard currency. Peanut is competitive in the international market for vegetable oil, snack foods markets, and to some extent for animal feed.
Before the 1960s, China exported peanut substantially to the Soviet Union. However, since 1970s most of the peanut export goes to Western Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia. The quantity of peanut export has been increasing over the years.
World consumption of peanuts is increasing at a rate of around three per cent per annum. Peanuts are called groundnuts in many parts of the world, particularly Asia and Africa. They have also been called Goober nuts in southern states of the USA.
In 2004-05 world peanut production was 31 582 million tonnes, to which Australia contributed less than 0.2 per cent. China, India and the USA are the main producers, growing 15, 7.6 and 2.2 million tonnes respectively (see Table 1).
About 95 per cent of the world’s production is consumed within the country of origin, most being crushed for oil and used for cooking. Only about five per cent is traded on the world market, the majority of which are runner peanuts.