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Chart of the week: China snacks on peanuts

A surge in demand for peanuts in China is outstripping supply from the top exporter Argentina, sending the price of the legumes soaring.

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The Chinese "are just hoovering everything up", according to one trader. Demand for peanuts has flared up in the Middle Kingdom as increasingly health-conscious consumers like to snack on them and chefs turn to peanut oil for cooking.

China, once a key exporter, is turning into a major importer, says Emiko Terazono in the Financial Times: imports are up 50% in a decade. Chinese prices are now higher than in the rest of the world, so it has been buying up supplies from big exporters. The surge in demand has coincided with poor harvests in India and Argentina, the top exporter.

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