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‘No sign of recovery’ as cashew prices in Vietnam keep falling

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cashew prices are sitting much lower than they were at the same time last year.JENN KOSAR/PUBLIC DOMAIN

‘No sign of recovery’ as cashew prices in Vietnam keep falling

CASHEW prices are low at present, according to the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas).

The price of fresh cashew nuts has recently stood at just 28,000-30,000 dong ($1.21-$1.29) per kg at farms in Binh Phuoc province and 30,000-32,000 dong for nuts delivered to factories. The price of dried cashews was about 36,000 dong per kg.

In the same period last year, the price was 40,000-42,000 dong per kg for fresh cashews and 50,000 dong per kg for dried cashews.

According to traders, the prices are still going down and there is no sign of an imminent recovery, reported congthuong.vn.

Vinacas’ Tran Huu Hau said prices have increased slightly from the record low in late February of 20,000-24,000 dong per kg for fresh cashews because processing facilities temporarily stopped producing cashews during the Tet holidays.

Nguyen Van Tuan, the owner of a cashew farm in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, said the price of cashews in his province is higher than in other areas due to their better quality and convenient location. However, the price of fresh cashews at the farm dropped to 29,500 dong per kg from 32,000-33,000 dong at the beginning of last week.

Now that it is the harvest season, many farmers are worried they will face pressure from traders to reduce prices even further, he said.

According to the association, domestic cashew output is only about 400,000 tonnes while the annual demand of domestic enterprises is about 1.5 million tonnes. The cashew processing industry has depended on imported materials to meet demand.

Ho Ngoc Cam, director of Phuong Minh Agro-Forestry Product Import and Export Co Ltd, said enterprises have imported a small volume of raw cashews while prices of domestic cashews have dropped dramatically.

If factories import large quantities, the price is expected to reduce further on the domestic market, Cam said.

According to Cam, raw cashew prices in Africa are currently about $1,300-1,400 per tonne, $600-700 lower than the same period last year.

Global price reductions are due to oversupply, with many cashew-producing countries in the middle of their harvest seasons including Vietnam, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Benin, Mozambique and Ghana, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Export Import Department.

The average export price of Vietnamese cashews in the first two months of the year was $8,197 per tonne, 20.1 per cent lower than the same period last year, according to the General Department of Customs.

Vietnam exported 47,700 tonnes of cashews in the first two months of this year, earning $390.9 million. Exports increased by 4.2 per cent in volume but reduced by 16.7 per cent in value year on year.

The Export Import Department expected prices to recover in the long term. In the second quarter of this year, global prices are likely to recover due to increased demand in China and some other countries.

The department also expects prices this year to be higher than in 2017 and last year.

According to the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council, the demand for cashew nuts this year is expected to increase from April and be stable until the end of the year. VIET NAM NEWS/ANN

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