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  • Rising cashew consumption takes raw nut import to record levels

    Mar 23rd, 2016

    Indians' growing fascination for cashews has raised the import of raw cashews to record levels. Indians now munch more cashews than any other country in the world.

    Traders estimate the cashew consumption in the country to be around 3 lakh tons. The annual export of cashew kernels comes to about 1.3 lakh tons

    As the domestic output of about 7 lakh tons is hardly sufficient to meet the rising consumption, India has been importing more and more raw cashews from Africa for processing. In 2014-15, the raw cashew import went up by 21% to 9,30,458 tons. In the current fiscal, the imports have touched 927,016 tons in 11 months to February and are inching closer to 1 million tons.

    ``The number of domestic processors has increased. And unlike in Kerala where increase in wages has made processing costlier, the cost of production is cheaper in many states,'' said Anu S Pillai, partner of Anu Cashews.

    Higher import has been achieved in spite of costlier imported raw nuts. The raw nut prices which had been hovering around $1600 per ton for several months. It has cooled a bit to $1400 per ton, which is still dear compared with the prices last year.

    The exporters have been peeved by the large scale import and stocking of raw cashew by the traders for selling in the domestic market as they felt the process led to artificial shortage of the nut. The raw cashew import which was free of duty, now attracts 9.36% duty, recently imposed by the government.