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  • Vietnam cashew processors on tenterhook

    Apr 30th, 2015

    Africa’s cashew yield falls by 15-30% this year have made domestic cashew processors worried about possible material shortages as Vietnam imports a large volume of unprocessed cashew from the continent. Ghana, a big exporter of unprocessed cashew in Africa, is expected to yield only 730,000 tons of cashew this year, down 23%, according to Ecobank, a bank which is present in 36 African countries. Many other African countries have reported their cashew yields would be affected by unfavorable weather conditions this year.

    Besides Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Benin are among the major cashew growing countries in Africa. The Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) said limited supply has forced many local enterprises to scramble for unprocessed cashew at a higher price, at US$1,300 per ton, up US$100-200 against the previous year. Nguyen Duc Thanh, chairman of Vinacas, said enterprises would earn no profit if they import cashew at higher prices for export processing. Vinacas said this could hardly be a tactic by African cashew exporters to push up the price of this farm produce. Whether their output drops or not will be made known at the end of June when the harvest season in Africa ends.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the average export price of cashew nuts was US$7,138 per ton in the first two months of this year, up nearly 17% against the same period last year. Though cashew exports dropped 1.3% in volume in the first quarter of this year, the value picked up almost 15%. In the period, Vietnam exported 51,000 tons of cashew worth US$370 million and imported 145,000 tons of raw cashew, or 2.75 times higher than the January-March period of last year. Last year, Vietnam exported 306,000 tons of cashew nuts, equivalent to around 900,000 tons of raw cashew. The country imported nearly 579,000 tons of unprocessed cashew.