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  • Domestic cashew market is growing faster than exports

    Apr 9th, 2015

    KOCHI: Increasing domestic cashew consumption is affecting India's exports of the nut that is a rich source of anti-aging agents. With local demand increasing 15% annually, consumption in India has overtaken that of the US and Europe, the principal buyers of Indian cashew.

    "The annual Indian consumption is hovering around 2 lakh ton compared with about 1.3 lakh ton in the US and 80,000 ton in Europe," said Pankaj N Sampat, director of Mumbai-based Samsons Traders. India's exports have been around 1.2 lakh ton a year.With cashew's popularity increasing, its processing, which was limited to the four southern states, is spreading to other places. "Cashew has seen several new origins like Gujarat, West Bengal and Maharashtra in the past few years," said K Prakash Rao, managing partner of Kalbavi Cashews. This has increased the number of processors, putting pressure on the availability for processing systems, said Rao. The booming local market has hindered the growth of exports, he added. Cashew is a major foreign exchange earner for India.

    Though official figures are yet to come out, value of cashew exports in 2014-15 was estimated to have surpassed Rs 5,000 crore, achieved in the previous year. Till the end of February 2015, cashew worth Rs 4,986 crore was exported.Vietnam, a major producer, exports almost the entire production as its domestic consumption is marginal.The problems confronted by the export market - like the high price of imported raw cashew nuts, rising cost of production and a lower price in the world market - have also worked in favour of domestic consumption.