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  • Cashew sector upbeat over duty hike of kernels

    Jan 8th, 2019

    The Centre’s decision to increase the import duty of cashew kernels from 45 per cent to 70 per cent comes as a relief as cheap imports have been posing a major threat to the domestic cashew processing industry. The hike is applicable to cashew kernels (both whole and broken varieties) and semi-finished cashew and other products.“There has been a surge in imports of plain and also semi-finished kernels by making use of loopholes and false declarations in existing laws,” said Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) chairperson R K Bhoodes. According to CEPCI, there are around 20 different illegal ways of bringing cashew into the country and such imports have increased by at least 325 per cent this year.

    N K Premachandran, the MP from Kollam, which is the largest exporter of processed cashew, said duty hike would address the fall in price of cashew in domestic market and would help revive the industry facing a crisis. He, however, said the government’s decision to retain import duty (2.5 per cent) on raw cashew nuts and lack of restriction on roasted cashew imports were unfortunate. The ASEAN trade deal allowing zero import duty for roasted/salted cashew has led to false declarations. CEPCI estimates that ports in the country get around 25 to 30 consignments of broken cashew in a month. India continues to be the largest market for cashew with an annual consumption of three lakh tonnes.

    With cashew nuts going into making various cuisines and sweets, there’s a steady demand for broken cashew, which is cheaper than whole nuts.