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  • Branded cashew may get costlier due to rise in prices of imported raw nuts

    Jul 22nd, 2016

    Branded cashew nut sellers may be forced to raise prices soon due to the continued increase in prices of imported raw nuts.Retail cashew prices have risen about 15% to more than Rs 700 per kg in recent days, but traders said a further revision is likely in the prices of the nut which has become a popular gift item and an essential ingredient of sweet dishes and cookies.

    "High prices and import duty have led to an increase in local prices even as demand has started to pick up with the festival season approaching. The local demand is more for cashew brokens," said G Sateesh Nair, managing director at India Food Exports, which sells the popular Delinuts.To prevent the misuse of free import norms, the government had slapped an import duty of 9.36% in March. As a result of the high price and duty, import of raw nuts into the country plummeted to less than half in the first two months of the current fiscal compared to that of a year ago. India meets more than 60% of its raw nut demand through imports, which touched a record 9.39 lakh tons last year.

    The shortage in supply has also led to the closure of many processing factories."The cashew season in East Africa and Indonesia will start soon and the prices may hover around $1,750-1,800 per ton which could put further pressure on supply. Already 35% of the cashew processing factories in India have downed their shutters with nut shortage," said K Prakash Rao, managing partner at Kalbavi Cashews.

    Exporters said the export obligations for free import are hard to follow. Besides, they said, the current price for cashew kernel doesn't match the high raw nut price.