In 2020, peanut exports to the Canadian market increased more than 2000%, which shows recognition of the quality of the product that is being sold, and may indicate the beginning of a long-term relationship
By Sergio Siscaro and Estela Cangerana
The figures of the commercial exchange between Brazil and Canada brought highly positive data, in 2020. Brazilian exports of shelled peanut (even if crushed) reached US$ (FOB) 7.3 million in the period, which represented a 2,174% growth over 2019. With this outcome, peanut became the 33rd most sold Brazilian product to Canada. The data was released in the quarterly bulletin Quick Trade Facts, organized by CCBC, on the basis of official foreign trade figures between the two countries.
The increase in business, based upon the opinion of specialists, was motivated by a conjunction of factors, such as the increase in the consumption of snacks (peanut among them) by families, added to the offer by Brazil of a high-quality product, and the interest of many exporters in conquering new markets. More than a one-off increase, the peanut performance may also be pointing to the beginning of a long-term business relationship, which is the result of the efforts in enhancing the whole segment’s chain.
According to the director of Institutional Relations at CCBC, Paulo de Castro Reis, the performance confirms the success of Programa Pró-Amendoim (Pro-Peanut Program), of Associação Brasileira da Indústria de Chocolates, Amendoim e Balas (Abicab) (Brazilian Association of Chocolate, Peanut and Candy Industry), which for two decades has been working to increase the acceptance of Brazilian peanut abroad. “[The product] has now become a case of success and a worldwide reference in quality. And it was no different with Canada”, he says.
The program has supported the development of new varieties of the product, which are more resistant, have higher productivity, and are of high quality. “Today, Brazil can sell its peanut to any country in the world. We are able to meet the most rigorous quality standards”, adds Abicab’s vice-president, Renato Fechino. He highlights that, currently, peanut production is among the most profitable of the entire agribusiness chain.
Brazil is the world’s 14th largest peanut producer and has a growing export base. In 2020, the Brazilian product was exported to 79 countries. The shipments in natura totaled 259 thousand tons, corresponding to US$ 319 million (a 38% increase with respect to the previous year). As an example of the segment’s evolution, this amount represented an increase of over 150%, in five years. In 2015, 100.8 thousand tons of peanut in natura were exported.
On the other hand, the processed product accounted for US$ (FOB) 9.8 million, equivalent to 5 thousand tons.
Pró-Amendoim (Pro-Peanut), which is a self-regulation program, has been essential for the changes over the recent years. “Specific standards were established for the product, and a quality seal, which monitors the companies annually for its renewal”, explains Fechino. The program consists in collecting and analyzing the items available in the market, aiming to detect possible irregularities, which are communicated to the relevant authorities. The products that guarantee safety, and meet the standards, receive the seal “Qualidade Certificada Pró-Amendoim-Abicab” (“Pro-Peanut-Abicab Certified Quality”).
Along with the growing recognition of the Brazilian product in the world market, Canada presents itself as one of the major global importers. “It is a potential consumer market quite important. Nowadays, United States is Canada’s main supplier, but, nevertheless, there is room for the Brazilian exports of peanut to grow even more”, states Fechino.
According to him, Brazilian companies are aware of this fact and are quite attentive. “I am firmly convinced that Canada will be on the list of all the companies that want to expand their exports, for the importance that Canadian market represents”, he says.
In Canada, the popularity of peanut should come as no surprise. After all, it was the country that invented peanut butter, which is extremely popular in United States. In 1884, Canadian chemist Marcellus Gilmore Edson was granted the first patent for the product, which is now widely consumed.
“Brazilian exporter is interested in maintaining this commercial dialogue with Canada and increasing it. Canada is a promising market. There are many opportunities, and I am sure that this partnership will last a long time”, he concludes.