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Agribusiness: online commodity marketplace expands to trade peanut inventories

MEMPHIS – Agriculture’s largest online commodity market, the Seam, announced recently that the company has officially launched trading of the USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) peanut inventories. This arrangement establishes the first electronic exchange of any type for peanuts and marks the first time the U.S. Government has had the ability to market peanuts directly to buyers through a neutral third-party Internet-based company.

Bert Farrish, deputy vice president of USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), explained that marketing CCC-owned peanuts online improves efficiency by providing buyers with a convenient and safe electronic sales transaction.

“We have a great deal of confidence in the Seam’s role in servicing sales of CCC-owned peanuts,” Farrish said. “Over the past two years, they have exhibited a very successful market oriented performance with the servicing of cotton sales for CCC. This arrangement may also benefit peanut growers and other sectors of the peanut industry in the areas of price discovery and price transparency, particularly if other sellers of in-shell peanuts choose to market through the Seam.”

Based on industry experience, the Seam’s online marketplace will provide the entire peanut industry with the opportunity to begin moving its business into a broader marketplace. By going online, CCC’s peanut inventories are now consolidated and viewed by the widest possible audience, assuring the best bid on any given day. Transactions are handled entirely online, with the Seam handling all of the details, including the transfer of funds and title.

Although the Seam accommodates all forms of title, electronic warehouse receipts (ewrs) are fast becoming the currency of agriculture. Electronic receipts enable producers to use a third party, such as the Seam or a bank, as an escrow agent to ensure that their commodity is not delivered until the buyer has transferred the necessary funds.

“We are delighted to add peanuts to our growing list of products and services here at the Seam,” said Phillip C.Burnett, president and CEO of the Seam. “Since our launch four years ago, our goal has been to extend the benefits of our technology to other commodities and sectors of the farm economy. In this instance we have partnered with The U.S. Department of Agriculture to build a secure, risk-free market place for the peanut industry.”

“We are confident,” continued Burnett, “that the Seam’s proven technology and successful online international trading model will create new opportunities for the entire peanut industry as it continues to transition into a new federally mandated market driven program.”

According to Burnett, discussions are underway by the Seam with other commodity groups and other industries that see the company’s proven technology as applicable to their businesses.

The Seam is a totally neutral Internet-based global marketplace for the buying and selling of cotton and other commodities. Users of the Seam increase their profits through improved transaction process efficiencies, expanded exposure to potential customers and suppliers, constant access to real-time market information, and guaranteed domestic trades.

For more information and detailed explanation of the Seam technology visit the company’s Web site,, or call 901.374.0374.

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