Nuts

Cashews: demand slumps in Europe

February 6, 2024 at 8:57 AM , Der AUDITOR
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PHNOM PENH/BRUSSELS. EU imports slumped to new lows in January. Cashew nut quotations have gained sharply in India. Cash is an issue in Cambodia.

Cambodia wants its share of the cake

Local media are calling for Cambodia’s government to wake up and challenge the pole positions the Ivory Coast and Vietnam hold. Trouble is that although the country is one of the world’s top ten cashew nut producers, only 10% of the crop is processed locally and more than 90% is shipped to Vietnam. As Cambodia only has 42 processing plants calls are being voiced for the government to fund additional ones. According to the Cashew Nut Association of Cambodia (CAC) raw cashew nut exports came close to USD 837 million in 2023. Exports totalled 656,000 mt, of which 618,000 mt were shipped to Vietnam, and ranged 17% lower than in 2022. Good news is that this decrease is driven by an uptick in processing. Average export prices ranged higher than in 2022 at USD 1,368-1,900/mt.

Although the government is keen to support manufacturers in setting up processing facilities, many obstacles remain with cash being one of the main problems. CAC is not only actively training and supporting farmers but is also promoting Cambodia’s position as one of the world’s leading producers. Aim is also to invest in high-quality organic cashew nuts, which presently only hold a very limited market share. This would also be of interest for European buyers. Vietnam and Ivory Coast, however, have a firm grip on this market as recent imports show.

EU cashew nut imports slump

EU cashew nut imports have slumped to new lows in January. At 9,843 mt worth EUR 50 million, imports not only range 33% lower in terms of volume and 44% lower in terms of value than in January 2023 but have also dropped to the lowest figures witnessed since 2017 when the January import volume last ranged below 10,000 mt, namely at 8,932 mt. This year’s import value has even hit a nine-year low as figures only ranged lower than EUR 50 million (USD 54 million) prior to 2016 with 2015 showing EUR 48 million (USD 52 million).

Vietnam is the most important supplying country for the EU and accounted for 66% of total imports in January. Yet, it should be noted that the market share ranged at 71% last year. Shipments from the Ivory Coast have declined by a more moderate 13% and from India by as much as 55%. The Netherlands accounted for 46% (6,591 mt) of the EU’s total imports in January, followed by Germany with 23% (3,346 mt) and Italy with 7% (984 mt).

EU cashew nut imports (mt)

Country

2023

2024

Diff.

Vietnam

10,545

6,567

-37.7%

Ivory Coast

2,045

1,777

-13.1%

India

696

312

-55.2%

Benin

82

243

196.3%

Burkina Faso

378

211

-44.2%

Brazil

247

153

-38.1%

Nigeria

113

136

20.3%

Ghana

143

111

-22.4%

Mozambique

160

98

-38.7%

Tanzania

57

79

38.6%

Others

281

156

-44.5%

Total

14,747

9,843

-33.3%

DG TAXUD Customs Surveillance, provisional data, 01/01-31/01
HS Code 08013200 Fesh or dried cashew nuts, shelled

Prices inch upwards in India

Although India was the third most important supplier for the EU in January, the volumes shipped from here are a far cry from the volumes imported from Vietnam or the Ivory Coast. Quotations are relatively flat in India but have inched upwards in the past six months and have thereby gained considerable ground. Yet, prices still range lower than one year ago.

Cashews, India

Type

USD/mt

LP-1 9/15

9,890

LWP

6,605

SWP

5,940

W320

7,950

W450

7,325

FOB India

 

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