Nuts

Cashews: sheer incredible exports give rise to speculations

June 7, 2021 6:10 PM, Der AUDITOR
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HANOI/NEW DELHI. Cambodia shipped an incredibly high volume of 836,000 mt raw cashew nuts to Vietnam between January and April as the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) reports. Total shipments from Cambodia to Vietnam, by contrast, ranged at a much lower 219,000 mt in 2020. Although Vietnam has indeed drastically stepped up imports, this cannot fully explain the sharp rise in shipments from Cambodia. Prices have taken a rather surprising turn in Europe. Traders are hoping for a sustained recovery in India, where the devastating surge in Covid-19 infections basically brought parts of the market to a standstill.

Inexplicable rise in exports

Shipments from Cambodia to Vietnam in other words increased fourfold over last year in only four months. This extensive rise is difficult to explain, especially since production in Cambodia officially only ranges at 250,000-300,000 mt. However, it should be noted that Vietnam has actively being promoting production in neighbouring Cambodia in recent years to gain more indepence form raw cashew nut producing countries in Africa. Cornhouse, moreover, reports that Cambodia's production may actually range much higher than official figures suggest as some market players claim that it is very well possible that production has hit 800,000-900,000 mt. Such unofficial estimates, however, only partly explain why the country's exports to Vietnam exceeded 800,000 mt in the first four months of the year.

Unacceptable freight charges

The market situation in Vietnam is, however, anything but encouraging. Not only have strong rains during the crucial drying phase promted a decline in production but the country is also experiencing a new surge in Covid-19 infections. This called for a swift response and the government was quick to introduce restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. Although urgent action was required, the downside is that the restrictions in place will impact production and exports.

Exporters are, moreover, confronted with high freight charges, which range as high as USD 6,000 for a 20' FCL container to be shipped to Europe. Prices even range at USD 7,500 for shipments to the USA. On top of this, containers are lacking and it is difficult to place containers on cargo ships. If this situation does not improve soon, another surge in prices is to be expected. Nominal price declines have, by contrast, been observed in Europe. Large cashew pieces are trading lower at EUR 3.60/kg FCA Spain.

Cashew nuts, Vietnam

Type

EUR/kg

WW320

6.45

Large pieces

3.60

Small pieces

2.25

FCA Spain

Markert recovers in India

The market situation is more stable in India. Overseas demand is up and is expected to continue to rise. Domestic demand has also recovered from the decline prompted by the pandemic. Hopes are that the market will continue its recovery in July. Although traders are not expecting any sharp declines in prices, much will depend on the pandemic situation in the country. Prices, nevertheless, took a dip for most varieties last week and are holding firm now. The noted expection are SWP cashew nuts, which are trading higher than last week at USD 5,241/mt FOB India.

Cashew nuts, India

Type

USD/mt

W240

9,891

W320

8,523

W450

7,566

LWP

6,062

SWP

5,241

FOB India

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