Cashews: inexplicable rise in exports

May 4, 2021 9:18 AM, Der AUDITOR
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HANOI. Excessive demand for cashew kernels has prompted suppliers in Vietnam to step up raw cashew nut imports. Shipments to Vietnam, in fact, rose more than fivefold in March over last year. Market players are, however, mystified by shipments from Cambodia. As the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) reports Cambodia shipped a seemingly incredible volume of 367,000 mt of raw cashew nuts to Vietnam in March. Problem, however, is that production only ranged at 300,00 mt. This has sparked speculations.

Imports nearly 450% up

Traders report that demand is still excessively high. So high in fact that imports have been stepped up sharply. Vinacas has sharply revised imports for March upwards from initially 300,000 mt to 473,000, which is a 446% rise over March 2020. Cambodia is the main supplier by far, as the country accounts for more than 367,000 mt of the volumes shipped to Vietnam.

The INC, however, rather estimates last year’s production at 250,000 mt and other market players, such as Cornhouse, reckon that production reached 300,000 mt at the very most. As these volumes cannot possibly account for the sharp rise in Cambodia’s exports it is now reckoned that production may have exceeded estimates by far. Prospects are, in addition, not really encouraging in Vietnam. Issue is that heavy rains are making it difficult to dry nuts meaning that more imports will be required.

High cargo rates remain problem

Vietnam shipped more than 47,443 mt overseas in March, which is roughly on par with last year. As much as 11,500 mt were destined to the US and 5,000 mt to China and the remaining 31,000 mt to the EU and other countries. Ridiculously high cargo rates are, however, still a problem. Shipments to the US are next to impossible. Exporters, nevertheless, hope that business will revive in the second half of the year.

Nominal rise in prices

Cashew kernels are trading around EUR 0.05/ kg higher in Europe. WW320 cashew kernels from Vietnam, for instance, range at EUR 6.40/kg FCA Spain. In India, the prices for cashew kernels, W320, have by contrast declined from EUR 7.44/kg at the start of April to EUR 7.21/kg FOB India at the end of the month.

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