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  • Will the cashew market experience a supply crisis? 06/22/2020

    Jun 22nd, 2020

    The demand for cashew almonds was particularly strong during the Covid-19 pandemic and the months of confinement in Europe and the United States, which together account for around 37% of world demand. Imports were increasing from January to June, chaining records from month to month. For Jim Fitzpatrick this increase goes beyond panic purchases following the pandemic, it is the reflection and the continuation of a trend observed for three years. If we look at Vietnam, the world's largest processor, which accounts for around 80% of the international volume, almond exports from January to April 2020 increased by 58% compared to the same period in 2019. They were sustained on all markets, even in Italy, for example, a country very strongly impacted by Covid-19. The only exceptions are Spain and China. Third export market, after the United States and Europe, China after a stop of imports during containment, purchases seem to resume and catch up. Vietnam to import at least 946,000 tonnes of cashew in 2020 Demand is expected to remain high in 2020, said Jim Fitzpatrick, which will result in high import requirements for raw cashews for Vietnam. If we project the same trend as in 2019, Vietnam will have to import 946,000 tonnes in 2020 with Vietnamese production of raw cashew nuts at 400,000 tonnes and opening stocks of 208,000 tonnes on June 1. With these same assumptions, if the continued increase in demand observed in the first half, ie more than 15%, continues in the second half of 2020, then the requirements would amount to 1,255,007 tonnes! On the other hand, in India the situation is more difficult. From the health point of view where the pandemic is far from being stopped but also at the level of processing factories where social distancing measures hamper their functioning. The import requirements for raw cashew nuts will be lower than in 2019 but still represent between 427,000 tonnes and 564,000 tonnes depending on the scenario of a 20% or 30% drop in demand and with the assumption of a 15% drop in production. West African supply will be insufficient Cumulated nut import requirements will be between 1.4 and 1.8 million tonnes for the two global processors in 2020. However, the coronavirus pandemic has revealed a crisis in the supply chain, particularly in Africa from the West where there are great difficulties in transporting raw nuts from the regions where they are produced to ports. Thus in Mali, Jacques Traoré indicates that the Covid-19 impacted exports with volumes shipped on June 4 lower by 10 000 tonnes compared to the same period in 2019 but also the transformation, all the factories being closed today. hui. In Senegal, the start of the campaign for two months is very timid due to the pandemic, some buyers are there but without the presence of sellers, says Lamine Sene. Likewise in Nigeria, the containment of the population took place at the end of March at the height of the harvest and the expeditions. While the ports remained open, movement within the country was limited. In Côte d'Ivoire, the world's leading producer, only 270,000 tonnes have been exported, 300 to 400,000 tonnes are still available, including 150,000 tonnes in the hands of producers. In Guinea Bissau, while the harvest is good around 200,000 tonnes, the movements are very slow as the rains approach The available amounts of raw cashews in West Africa are between 650,000 and 890,000 tonnes. An insufficient amount compared to the needs of India and Vietnam even in the case of the low scenario. A supply crisis is looming, says Jim Fitzpatrick. A tension in the supply level but the prices of raw cashew nuts are relatively stable, which surely reflects the decline in available quality, he explains. However, almond prices are low. Prices, at around $ 2.8 a pound, which Stephen Quyen Tang of Vietnam says do not generate profits. Today, only the large processing units are in operation and they have enough stocks, from Vietnam and Cambodia, to function. Beyond the crisis caused by the Covid-10, Jim Fitzpatrick believes that certain challenges in the supply chain will persist in terms of traceability, the environment, transparency or quality. But also of adequacy with the demand of the consumer who displays a preference for products transformed on their place of production. " But the current situation would be very different if only 50% of the raw nuts produced in West Africa are processed in the region, " says Jim Fitzpatrick.