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  • Covid-19 fallout: Cashew exports in both quantity and value, take a hit in Q1 07/06/2020

    Jul 6th, 2020

    The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on India’s cashew exports with a 41 per cent decline in quantity and 38 per cent in value in the first quarter of the current fiscal, compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. Exporters attribute the dismal performance to the lockdown that hindered the operations of many cashew factories, hitting overseas shipments and domestic sales. However, the rising retail sales especially in the US and the EU markets on increased snacking in May and June have brought some cheer to the sector, witnessing slight improvements in export figures. “There are some positive developments in the export market with increased shipments to the US, Japan, Australia, and Iran in May and June, compared to April in the current fiscal year. There are firm orders from other markets as well,” said K Rajesh of Kerala Cashew Industries Promotion Council. On the domestic side, he said, the drop was around 40 per cent, especially for broken kernels in the upcountry markets of Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, and Chennai, among others. The sector could not even derive the benefit of declining raw cashew prices in the international markets, which came down to $1,000 per tonne from $1,650-1,700 in 2019. According to RK Bhoodes, Chairman, Federation of Indian Cashew Industry, the sector has taken measures to highlight cashew nut as a natural immunity boosting product due to the presence of zinc and other minerals in it. “We are developing a new channel for marketing to boost consumption, emphasising on the health benefits of cashew nut,” he said. In upcountry markets, the primary level of consumption was down due to Covid-19. But the sector witnessed a 23 per cent rise in secondary level consumption, thank to increased offtake from confectionery companies, which, he said, is a good sign. Trade analysts Pankaj N Sampat of Samson Traders said that the cashew sector in India expects a quick and significant revival in demand due to lower kernel prices, provided the Covid-19 situation improves in the next six to eight weeks. If that happens, there could be a squeeze in the availability of kernels during the peak consumption period, which starts in August.