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Cashews: Vietnam remains most important supplier for the USA

October 13, 2021 at 11:36 AM, Der AUDITOR
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HANOI/ACCRA. Although Vietnam has had to deal with many pandemic-related restrictions, the country can hold its own as the most important cashew supplier for the USA. However, some African countries could emerge as competitors in the future.

Vietnam supplies 90% of US imports

The International Trade Commisson announced that the US imported a total of around 97,000 mt of cashew nuts worth USD 615 million in the first seven months of 2021. This represents a slight increase of 0.5% compared to the same period in 2020, with Vietnam easily defending its first place among the most important suppliers; although the cashew industry there has also had to take many restrictive measures due to the pandemic, Vietnamese shipments still account for almost 90% of US imports. Between January and July 2021, Vietnam's exports to the US were 87,000 mt, valued at USD 545 million. The countries that could become Vietnam's biggest competitors in the future are the Ivory Coast and Nigeria, according to the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas).

Prices for Vietnamese cashew kernels on the European spot market have dropped slightly compared to last week and are currently at EUR 6.75/kg FCA Spain for the WW320 variety.

Cashew kernels, Vietnam

Type

EUR/kg

WW320

6.75

WW240

7.20

Large White Pieces

4.45

FCA Spain

Africa produces more than 50% of the global RCN

Concerns about African competition are not unfounded, given the latest estimates from the African Cashew Alliance (ACA). In total, more than 2.1 million mt of RCN were harvested on the continent in 2020 and Africa remains the number one producer of RCN in 2021, too. The main producing countries are the Ivory Coast with an estimated 900,000 mt, which alone would represent an increase of 100,000 mt compared to 2020. For Nigeria, crop estimates are currently at 210,000-250,000 mt, while experts in Ghana expect a crop of between 110,000 and 130,000 mt. The African growing countries are increasingly striving to be able to carry out further production steps at origin, which would make the product more interesting for export destinations such as the USA or Europe.

Estimates for the world RCN crop currently range between 3.5 million and 3.8 million mt, of which around 54% is accounted for by African producing countries. India contributes about 21% and Vietnam and Cambodia, which are taken together in this calculation, 17%.

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