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  • Cashew exports plummet 20% in 2015-16

    Apr 21st, 2016

    Cashew shipments from the country slipped by 20 per cent in 2015-16 while imports of raw cashew nuts saw a substantial increase during the last fiscal year.

    Total shipments stood at 94,150 tons, worth `4,850.39 crore, with a unit value of `515.17/kg against 1,18,820 tons, valued at `5,431.30 crore, at a unit value of `457.10.

    Meanwhile, imports of raw cashew nuts rose to 9,49,322 tons worth `8,473.60 crore against 9,32,224 tons valued at `6,569.52 crore. The average unit value was at `89.26/kg in 2015-16 against `70.47 the previous fiscal.

    Multiple factors

    Attributing the fall in exports mainly to non-receipt of parity price for kernel, Sundaran Prabha, Chairman, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI), told BusinessLine that the high Raw Cashew Nut (RCN) prices, coupled with the closure of around 80 per cent of the factories in Kerala following a hike in wages, has also contributed to this phenomenon.

    He said the increase in imports of raw nuts is because of trading in RCN in the country and shipping out for processing in Vietnam.

    Meanwhile, imports of kernels have risen to 2,477 tons valued at `109.25 crore from 957 tons valued at `30.22 crore in 2014-15.

    However, exports of Cashew Nut Shell Liquid and Cardanol have moved up last fiscal on low unit value to 11,447 tons valued at `55.96 crore from 10,938 tons valued at `55.81 crore. The unit value was at `48.88 a kg against `51.03 in 2014-15, CEPCI sources said.

    According to trade sources, during the first week of April business was done for W240 at $3.90-4 and W320 at $3.70-3.80 per lb (FoB) for April, May and June shipments. Not much business was reported in other grades.

    Last week, the price levels for W240 were $3.95-4.10; W320: $3.75-3.95; W450: $3.60-3.75; SW320: $3.50-3.65; Splits: $3.20-3.35; Pieces: $3.05-3.15 per lb (FoB).

    “Even though there were more enquiries the activities were limited”, Pankaj N Sampat, a Mumbai-based dealer, told BusinessLine.

    Rising again

    RCN prices started moving down by end February, he said. With the introduction of import duty on RCN in India, people were expecting further softening. Surprisingly, RCN prices started moving up again from mid-March.

    For instance, Ivory Coast (IVC) which has the largest crop in Africa and had gone below $1,300 a ton has moved up to $1,500 — recording an increase of nearly 15 per cent in one month. Whereas, IVC RCN was traded in the range of $1,150-1,300 in 2015.

    Following the increase in RCN prices, the kernel market, which has been steady for a very long time, started moving up. Prices have been going up by a few cents every week from mid-March. Due to the delay in crop arrivals and reduced buying by Indian processors, kernel availability will be reduced.

    This expectation, coupled with some delays in February and March shipments from Vietnam, induced buyers from the US and EU to come in and pick up all offers for nearby shipments.