Peanut butter makers feel the crunch after poor harvest

Poor harvests have raised the price of peanuts to almost $1,200 a tonne (Picture by Piccolo Namek)

PEANUT butter prices are set to soar following a poor harvest.

Extreme heat and drought are being blamed for the problem, which has seen the cost of peanuts soar from $450 a tonne to just under $1,200.

Several manufacturers, including Kraft, say they will have to increase their prices.

While a spokesperson for Unilever said that it’s watching the situation “very closely.”

Speaking to a local American newspaper, Patrick Archer, president of the American Peanut Council, remained optimistic about the future of the industry.

He said: “Though consumption will probably be disrupted to some degree, it’s still a valuable food for many people, so I don’t think people will stop buying it.”

It’s believed manufacturers could suspend production of less popular products, such as low-fat peanut butter, so they can use all their peanuts in their best-sellers.

According to the National Peanut Board, the industry contributes more than $4 billion to the America economy each year.