Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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Cashew sector wage revision talks fail again

  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • Yet another round of talks in the presence of Labour Minister Shibu Baby John between representatives of the cashew sector trade unions and the employers held in Thiruvanathapuram on Tuesday too drew a blank.

    clip_image001The last meeting in this connection was held on November 6 also in the presence of Mr. Shibu. During the earlier talks, the trade unions had been demanding a 40 per cent hike in wages and the employers expressed their inability to consider a hike beyond 25 per cent.

    In Tuesday’s meeting, the employers agreed to settle for wage hike of 30 per cent. But the unions did not compromise.

    The employers said that if the issue was settled on Tuesday itself they would agree for a 35 per cent wage hike.

    - The Hindu

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    Monday, November 24, 2014

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    Seasonal demand pushes up cashew exports in October

  • Monday, November 24, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • KOCHI, NOVEMBER 24: 

    Strong winter demand appears to have resulted in an upsurge, after a continuous decline for about six months, in exports of cashew kernels and other cashew products in October.

    The country shipped out 11,325 tonnes of cashew kernels in October this year valued at ₹526 crore at an unit value of ₹464.44 a kg against 10,439 tonnes of cashews worth ₹434.68 crore at ₹416.40 a kg same period last year.

    clip_image001However, the total shipments during the first seven months of the current fiscal continued to be far below exports during the same period the previous financial year.

    The country shipped out 68,719 tonnes of cashews in April-October 2014 valued at ₹3,000.29 crore at an average unit value of ₹436.60 a kg.

    In the corresponding period last year it stood at 72,230 tonnes valued at ₹2,954.58 crore at the average unit value of ₹409.05 a kg.

    Raw nut exports

    Interestingly, Indian export of raw cashew also soared during the period under review.

    Export of raw nuts in October rose to 10,572 tonnes valued at ₹91.64 crore from 989 tonnes valued at ₹5.84 crore in the same period last year. The unit value realised in October this year was ₹86.68 a kg (₹59.09).

    India shipped out 11,130 tonnes of raw cashew nuts during April-October this year valued at ₹114.35 crore at the unit value of ₹102.74 a kg against 3,063 tonnes valued at ₹17.89 crore at the unit value of ₹58.39.

    Much of the shipments of raw nuts were to Vietnam, where Indian cashew processors have established processing facilities.

    They are believed to be shipping out from the imported raw nut stocks to their units in Vietnam, trade sources said.

    Imports soar

    Imports of raw nuts during April-October stood at 7,63,548 tonnes valued at ₹5,172.59 crore and the unit value paid was at ₹67.74 a kg.

    Imports in the corresponding period last fiscal were at 6,02,298 tonnes valued at ₹3,279.04 crore at the unit value of ₹54.44 a kg, Sasi Varma, Executive Director and Secretary, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India, told BusinessLine.

    He attributed the rise in exports of cashew kernel, of late, to the demand for winter/Christmas and New Year season.

    Price outlook

    Meanwhile, Pankaj Sampat, a Mumbai-based dealer, said that cashew continued to be the most reasonably priced nut moving in a relatively narrow range when compared with other nuts.

    Therefore, “it would be reasonable to expect prices to remain in this range and maybe even move up a bit – depending on buyer behaviour. The cashew kernel prices are likely to in the range of $3.40-3.70 for next 3-4 months and maybe more,” he said.

    Source:  The Hindu

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    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

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    With competing nuts ruling higher, raw cashew price may not fall

  • Tuesday, November 18, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • KOCHI, NOVEMBER 18: 

    The cashew market, which showed some buoyancy from mid-August till mid-October, is witnessing subdued activity. During the last three weeks, prices have slipped by a few cents from large processors and more from the small and medium processors.

    clip_image001

    According to trade sources, cashew continues to be the most reasonably priced nut moving in a relatively narrow range compared with other nuts.

    Therefore “it would be reasonable to expect prices to remain in this range and maybe even move up a bit – depending on buyer behaviour,” Pankaj Sampat, a Mumbai-based dealer, told BusinessLine.Highest levels traded were W240 at $4.05-4.15 and W320 $3.60-3.70 per lb (fob). Offers/trades during the last fortnight were in the range of W240 $3.75-3.95, W320 $3.40-3.55, W450 $3.30-3.45, SW320 $3.35-3.45, butts $3.10-3.25, splits $2.95-3.05 and pieces $2.85-2.95 per lb (fob).

    However, for the time being, many buyers seem to be waiting to see how market moves in coming weeks. But, some are still buying part of their requirements from reliable processors (even at higher levels).

    RCN prices up

    Raw Cashew Nut (RCN) market moved up between August and mid-October, with prices for West Africa RCN moving up from $1,150-1,250 to $1,350-1,550 a tonne range. Tanzania RCN traded at around $1,600 c&f. During the last 2-3 weeks, this has come down to $1,425-50.

    “If processors are not able to sell kernels at higher prices, they may be slow in buying RCN which in turn might lead to some reduction in prices, but reduction will not be much since availability is limited due to a fall in Southern crop output, estimated to be less than 25 per cent of world production,” Pankaj said.

    “Although we cannot be sure how market will move, especially in an uncertain situation like we face at present, our feeling is that cashew kernel market will remain in the range of $3.40-3.70 for next 3-4 months and maybe more,” he said.

    - The Hindu

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    Saturday, November 8, 2014

    1

    Thaw in cashew sector talks

  • Saturday, November 8, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • Talks called by Labour Minister Shibu Baby John in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday with representatives of cashew sector trade unions and employers in the Industrial Relations

    clip_image001

    Committee, to end an impasse over wage revision for cashew workers, drew a blank.

    But, in sharp contrast to talks in this connection on earlier occasions, Thursday’s talks were held in a cordial atmosphere and the two sides gave some indications of settling the issue at the earliest. In this connection, the trade union leaders and the employers agreed to hold another round of talks on November 25 “at which the issue has to be settled.”

    Both versions

    During Thursday’s talks, the trade unions expressed willingness to bring down their wage hike demand from 50 per cent to 40 per cent. But the employers, citing situations in the domestic and international markets vis-à-vis the prevailing cost of production in the State, expressed their inability to consider a hike beyond 25 per cent.

    Their contention was that over the past five years, the price of raw nuts they import from the international market had doubled from Rs.50 a kg to more than Rs.100. At the same time, the price of kernels which they export had been hovering around Rs.475 to Rs.500 a kilogram for the past five years. In such a situation, even a 40 per wage hike would make the industry unviable, the employers said.

    However, they said they were willing to offer a wage hike which the industry could bear at this juncture. The offer has hinted at the possibility of a 30 per cent wage hike during the November 25 talks. Both sides have not denied it.

    - The Hindu

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    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

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    Gambia: Cashew Farmers Want More Productivity

  • Tuesday, November 4, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • By Adama K. Jallow

    Cashew farmers in The Gambia want more productivity and better to gain better sales price in the global market, and are calling for collective work among the farmers.

    Kebba Jassey, the Senegambia Cashew Enhancement Project Manager in The Gambia and country representative, spoke at the 2014 annual CEP2 stakeholder review and partner planning forum held yesterday at the Baobab Holliday Resort in Kerr Serign.

    According to Mr Jassey, the forum was meant to review their 2013-2014 partnership agreement on the challenges and achievements gained during the period, and to learn the lessons for a better cashew season.

    Among the objectives of the project, he said, is to increase the income of cashew farmers, and that the project assessment has found that farmers earn a low income from their products, and factors responsible include the quality of their product and the volumes.

    According to him, the project encourages all cashew farmers to form an association and to sell their products collectively at the village level; and to enhance the quality of the products, since they compete with other countries in the global market.

    "To enhance the cashew value chain should be everyone's concern," he said, adding that cashew could create employment, and earns foreign currency through exporting the product.

    In his remarks, US Embassy charge d'affaires in The Gambia, Richard T. Yoneoka, said as the CEP2 final year approached, it was significant that they pause to consider its impact, as phase one which ran from 2009 to 2012 benefited about 3,000 cashew farmers and processors in The Gambia.

    He said the IRD expects to double that number to about 6,000 farmers and 100 more processors upon the completion of the second phase of the project, at the end of 2015.

    Yoneoka disclosed that the US Embassy was closely following the progress of the Senegambia Cashew Value Chain Enhancement Project (CEP2) in The Gambia, and was pleased with its achievements.

    With the funding from the US Department of Agriculture, the good work being carried out by International Relief and Development, in cooperation with the Peace Corps Volunteers and the African Cashew Alliance serves to remind them of what could be gained through partnership and collaboration.

    "You the stakeholders, growers and traders have provided the crucial by-in and commitment needed to ensure the continued success of this project," he continued.

    According to Yoneoka, the project focuses on optimizing the cashew value chain not only on yields and increase in the quality of the products, but also a marked increase in the quality with its slogan: "quality cashew is good business."

    In order for The Gambia to maintain its reputation as a provider of sweet-tasting, high-grade cashews, as well as potentially becoming competitive in the world market, the emphasis must remain on quality, he said.

    The goal is also set to capitalize on the increase in quality which would turn into higher profits for all actors in the value chain.

    The government of the United States is dedicated to this cause, as evidenced by the $8 million USDA Food for Progress grant that helped established this project," he pointed out.

    He urged the forum to be open and honest about their experiences and sharewith one another, in an effort to develop best practices and realize the objectives of CEP2, as well as to work in the spirit of mutual understanding and collaboration and not to hesitate to impart any wisdom or guidance they have gained in their work.

    Also to assess both challenges and success they have faced and take them as lessons learned to strategize for a more successful year to come, he said.

    Yoneoka thanked the Gambia government and the ministries of Agriculture, Forestry and Trade for creating the enabling environment to support the continued growth of the cashew value chain.

    - allafrica.com

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    Monday, November 3, 2014

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    Kogi set to reduce N12bn cashew losses

  • Monday, November 3, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • The Kogi State Governor, Capt. Idris Wada, has said that the state government is making efforts to reduce about $75m (about N12bn) cashew’s post-harvest losses in the country.

    He said the state government   had begun the upgrading of warehouses in the state to standard cashew handling centres equipped with modern grading and quality assessment equipment.

    clip_image001

    Wada spoke in Lokoja on Wednesday at the cashew improvement training programme themed, ‘Promoting cashew sustainability in Kogi State.’ The event was organised by the state government in collaboration with the Colossus investments Limited and the National Cashew Association of Nigeria.

    He says the state is the largest producer of cashew in the country, accounting for 40 per cent of the total commercial production of the nation.

    According to the governor, having standard cashew centres across the state will go a long way in tackling the problem of storage usually encountered by farmers.

    He stated that it would also provide the necessary drying platforms to properly dry the cashew adding that this would reduce to the barest minimum and eventually eliminate the problem of high moisture and lack of storage facilities that had plagued the sector for so long.

    He also said the government’s investment would further position the farmers and indeed all the stakeholders across the value chain to realise better returns on their cashew production.

    The governor also mentioned the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Kogi Sate Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria with respect to the N2bn loan for Kogi farmers and expressed the commitment of his administration to the development of the cashew industry in the state.

    Earlier, the President of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria, Mr. Tola Faseru, said the laudable project, if implemented in Kogi state, the largest producing state in the country, would drastically increase the farmer’s income.

    He noted that cashew would then be better stored and preserved, thereby forestalling wastage and quality deterioration.

    He enjoined other state governments to do the same by investing in such projects that would alleviate the pains of our farmers and boost agricultural output.

    The Kogi State Chairman of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria, Mr. Ahiaba Stephen, said the cashew improvement training was a welcome development as it was aimed at the complete value chain development in line with the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.

    Source: punchng.com

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    Wednesday, October 29, 2014

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    Nigeria: Kogi Upgrades Cashew Warehouses for Storage

  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • By John Akubo

    Lokoja — TOWARDS reducing post-harvest losses and wastages in the cashew industry, the Kogi State Government has started upgrading warehouses in the state to meet the standards for cashew handling.

    clip_image001

    The cashew handling centres have now been equipped with modern grading and quality assessment equipments, as post-harvest losses usually account for over 50 percent of total cashew production valued at $75 million.

    Governor Idris Wada disclosed at the cashew improvement training with the theme, "Promoting Cashew Sustainability in Kogi State," hosted by the government in collaboration with Colossus Investments Limited and the National Cashew Association of Nigeria that the state is the largest producer of cashew in the country, accounting for 40 percent of the nation's total commercial production.

    According to him, putting up the centres across the state will go a long way in tackling the storage problem usually encountered by farmers and provide the necessary drying platforms for the produce.

    When that is in place, he added, it would significantly reduce and eventually eliminate the problem of high moisture and lack of storage facilities that have plagued the sector for so long. He indicated that government's investment in the sector would further position the farmers and all stakeholders across the value chain to realize better returns.

    Wada further noted that the Memorandum of Understanding between the sate and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the N2 billion loan for Kogi farmers indicated his administration's strong commitment to the development of the cashew industry in the state.

    Also speaking, the state's NCAN Chairman, Comrade Ahiaba Stephen, commended Wada for transforming the state's agricultural sector, adding that the cashew improvement training was welcome, as it aimed to complete the value chain development in line with President Goodluck Jonathan's Agricultural Transformation Agenda.

    Over 500 participants attended the training, while facilitators included representatives from the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN).

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    0

    Insight: War-scarred Ivory Coast aims to conquer the world of cashews

  • Thùy Miên
  • (Reuters) - Forty years ago, Henri Kouakou was struggling to support his family farming a small plot outside Bondoukou, a dusty town in northeastern Ivory Coast, when he first learned that money did, in fact, grow on trees -- cashew trees.

    "I was raising yams back then and wasn't earning enough. I heard people talking about a new tree you could make money growing," he said, strolling through his plantation beneath a canopy of cashew tree branches.

    By his own reckoning, Kouakou, among the earliest pioneers of the Ivorian cashew sector, is nearly 100 years old. He has seen the nuts, initially planted in the 1970s to combat desertification, emerge as an important cash crop for the West African nation's impoverished north.

    clip_image001

    And with output growing by over 10 percent annually -- attracting the attention of a government desperate to jump-start its economy after a decade of war and political chaos -- he will likely live to see his country dominate the world market.

    Even a decade ago, Ivory Coast was a middling producer, growing around 80,000 tonnes of raw cashews per year. By last season, however, as demand for the nuts has grown, output had jumped to around a half million tonnes, making it the world's top exporter and second to India in overall production.

    In the north of the country, cotton and cashews are the only cash crops, so as some cashew growers have started to do well, others have piled in. Output has increased because new plantations planted in recent years are coming into production.

    "The growth is more than impressive. It's astounding," said Jim Fitzpatrick, a cashew expert. "We've never seen a country grow its production in the way Ivory Coast has over the past decade."

    This season, for the first time, the government set a guaranteed minimum price for cashew farmers, fixing it at 250 CFA francs ($0.48) per kilo of raw nuts. According to Malamine Sanogo, managing director of the sector's marketing board, the Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA), Ivory Coast has hardly scratched the surface of the enormous potential.

    Ninety-five percent of Ivorian output is exported raw to India and Vietnam for processing. Sanogo says that work should be done in Ivory Coast by Ivorian workers.

    "We think that with processing we will create many jobs and we will create lots of added value for the country," he said.

    Within the next five years, the CCA wants 35 percent of Ivory Coast's raw cashew output processed locally. Sanogo said bringing processors closer to producers will allow Ivory Coast to cut out some of the intermediaries in the supply chain, boost prices for farmers, and above all create jobs.

    Having doubled production over the past decade, Africa's two million cashew farmers produce nearly half of the world's supply of raw nuts, according to the African Cashew Alliance. Many, including growers in top African producers Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria and Mozambique, are watching closely Ivory Coast's efforts to become a major player in a global market valued at up to $7.8 billion.

    WAR AND REVIVAL

    In 2002, a failed coup attempt plunged Ivory Coast into a civil war that split the world's top cocoa producer in two. Once a model of stability and prosperity in a troubled region, Ivory Coast would remain divided between rebels in the north and southern government loyalists for almost a decade.

    Having emerged as the country's new president following a civil war in 2011, Alassane Ouattara, a former senior International Monetary Fund official, has ushered in economic growth of over 9 percent in past two years.

    But little of that growth -- fuelled largely by billion-dollar investments in large infrastructure projects -- has trickled down to the nearly half of Ivorians living on less than $2 per day. That's where the government hopes cashews can help.

    Some 600,000 farmers already grow the nuts, according to the CCA. But the creation of a domestic processing industry would mean more jobs in the sector.

    Advocates of the plan point to the giant cottage industry in India where a typical unit processes around 10 tonnes of cashews a day with a workforce of 1,000.

    According to a study carried out by the CCA, every 100,000 tonnes of processing capacity Ivory Coast develops will create 12,300 factory jobs and another 10,000 elsewhere in the sector.

    On the spotless campus of the large processing factory run by Singapore-based soft commodities trader Olam International in the central city of Bouake, uniformed employees queue up every morning for work.

    The plant and a second, smaller facility, employ around 3,500 workers with capacity to process 40,000 tonnes.

    "You can imagine if we can process 10 times this number how much employment can be created. And that is only direct employment," Issa Konate, Olam's head of procurement for the facilities, told Reuters.

    If it can pull it off, Ivory Coast would be the first African nation to build a large-scale cashew nut processing sector as a panacea for unemployment, a problem plaguing countries across the continent.

    The African Cashew Alliance estimates that a 25 percent increase in raw cashew nut processing in Africa would generate more than $100 million in household income.

    But Ouattara's government has an additional, even more pressing, concern: creating gainful employment for the 74,000 ex-combatants it is seeking to demobilise in the coming year.

    "That's what happened in Vietnam," Yao Appia Koffi, vice-president of Ivory Coast's Cashew Exporters Association. "When they were emerging from their war in the 1980s they developed that industry and it allowed a lot of ex-fighters to find work."

    THE BROKEN NUT CONUNDRUM

    Not everyone is so starry-eyed, however. "Processing? I'm not sure what the government can do ... It's foolishness," one Ivory Coast-based cashew exporter said, asking not to be named. Ivory Coast indeed faces some daunting obstacles.

    In addition to competing with processing sectors in India and Vietnam, it must convince private sector partners that political stability will last. It also needs major investments in machinery and must train tens of thousands of new workers.

    But its biggest challenge will be what to do about nuts damaged in processing -- what the industry calls brokens -- which typically constitute 30 to 40 percent of output.

    In India, the world's largest cashew producer and also the biggest consumer, brokens are absorbed by the domestic market. The same is true in Brazil, the number three processor. Vietnam has traditionally sold much of its brokens in India and has another big market for damaged nuts, China, next door.

    Ivory Coast, with only infinitesimal domestic consumption, has none of these options, and its less skilled workforce means that the portion of brokens is even higher there.

    Promoting cashew consumption in Ivory Coast and neighbouring countries is one possibility. But even supporters of this strategy admit it will take time with no guarantee of success.

    Ivory Coast's cashew sector may just have come of age at the perfect time. Experts say investors, worried by the dominance of India and Vietnam, are showing interest in diversifying supply and Africa is a logical choice for new processing facilities.

    From just 35,000 tonnes in 2006, Africa processed a total of 114,600 tonnes of raw cashew nuts in 2012.

    At the same time, manufacturers say technological advances in processing equipment will reduce the number of brokens to between 10 and 20 percent. Even the definition of what constitutes an exportable nut appears to be changing.

    Only last year, the difference in the price of a pound of export quality, whole kernel cashews and large brokens was around $2. That difference is now less than a dollar.

    "If that trend persists it will create a big change in the economics of processing," said Fitzpatrick, who works with the African Cashew Initiative, United Nations, European governments and private investors to develop cashew processing in Africa.

    Demand for edible nuts is growing, but the supply of pristine nuts is not. So it appears that buyers are willing to buy more, and pay more for, brokens.

    Back in Bondoukou, Henri Kouakou is cautiously optimistic. He's long been at the mercy of volatile, unregulated prices. Not far from his plantation stands a sprawling compound he started building for his family but has never been able to finish.

    "If the government could raise the price to 400 or 450 CFA francs I would retire right now. I would be at home with enough money to eat and feed my entire family."

    (1 US dollar = 517.9300 CFA franc)

    (Additional reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly and Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Giles Elgood)

    Source: Reuters

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    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

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    Cashew exports continue to slip; imports rise

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • Raw cashew nuts imports have increased significantly even as exports of cashew kernels continue to drop in the current financial year. A strong domestic demand for cashew kernels due to significant rise in consumption without corresponding growth in raw cashew nut production, is cited as the reason for the rise in imports.

    clip_image001

    At the same time, raw cashew nuts are also shipped out of the country, of late, to Vietnam, market sources said. They said Indian cashew processors having processing facilities abroad might be shipping out from the imported raw nut stocks to their units in Vietnam.
    Imports of raw nuts during April-September were 6,86,765 tonnes valued at Rs 45.48 billion. The unit value of the import was Rs 66.22 a kg. As against this, imports in the corresponding period last fiscal were at 5,61,971 tonnes valued at Rs 30.5 billion at the unit value of Rs 54.30 a kg.
    Whereas, the country has exported 1,999 tonnes of raw cashew nuts valued at Rs 163.9 million at the unit value of Rs 81.99 a kg, according to Cashew Export Promotion Council sources.
    Imports of raw nuts during April-March 2013-14 totalled 7,58,111 tonnes valued at Rs 44.58 billion. While it stood at 8,92,365 tonnes valued at Rs 53.3 billion in the same period the previous financial year, he said.
    The exports during April-September 2014-15 dropped to 55,471 tonnes valued at Rs 24.45 million at an average unit value of Rs 440.85 a kg from 61,866 tonnes valued at Rs 25.2 billion at the unit value of Rs 407.34 a kg in the same period the previous fiscal, Sasi Varma, Executive Director and Secretary, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) told BusinessLine.
    High prices
    “High raw nut prices resulted in high kernel costs which makes it difficult to sell in overseas markets. Consequently, more quantities are sold to the domestic market,” he said.
    He said an increase in demand is generally noticed during the winter months.
    The total shipments during April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014 increased by over 13 per cent to 1,13,620 tonnes from 1,00,105 tonnes in the corresponding period the previous fiscal. Total value realisation stood at Rs 49.76 billion, he said.
    India has a huge domestic market for cashew kernels, trade sources said.
    Domestic demand
    Domestic markets can absorb some 250,000 to 300,000 tonnes of cashew kernels of various grades, KA Retheesh, Managing Director, Kerala State-owned Cashew Development Corporation (CDC), told BusinessLine. He said exports are around 125,000 tonnes from the organised sector, which sells an equal quantity in the domestic market.
    At the same time, 125,000-150,000 tonnes of cashew kernels are marketed by the unorganised sector. The peak demand season has started and it has already reflected on prices, which have gone up by 25 per cent, he said.
    Prices of whole cashews, currently, range between Rs 800 and Rs 1,000 a kg and even at this rate there is a strong demand. In the international market, the average price is below Rs 450 a kg.

    - The Hindu

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    Sunday, October 26, 2014

    0

    Cashew exports continue to slip; imports rise

  • Sunday, October 26, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • KOCHI, OCTOBER 24: 

    Raw cashew nuts imports have increased significantly even as exports of cashew kernels continue to drop in the current financial year.

    A strong domestic demand for cashew kernels due to significant rise in consumption without corresponding growth in raw cashew nut production in the country is cited as the reason for the rise in imports.

    At the same time, raw cashew nuts are also shipped out of the country, of late, to Vietnam, market sources said.

    clip_image001

    They said Indian cashew processors having processing facilities abroad might be shipping out from the imported raw nut stocks to their units in Vietnam.

    Imports of raw nuts during April-September were 6,86,765 tonnes valued at ₹4,547.74 crore. The unit value of the import was ₹66.22 a kg. As against this, imports in the corresponding period last fiscal were at 5,61,971 tonnes valued at ₹3,051.72 crore at the unit value of ₹54.30 a kg.

    Whereas, the country has exported 1,999 tonnes of raw cashew nuts valued at ₹16.39 crore at the unit value of ₹81.99 a kg, according to Cashew Export Promotion Council sources.

    Imports of raw nuts during April-March 2013-14 totalled 7,58,111 tonnes valued at ₹4,457.72 crore. While it stood at 8,92,365 tonnes valued at ₹5,331.74 crore in the same period the previous financial year, he said.

    The exports during April-September 2014-15 dropped to 55,471 tonnes valued at ₹2,445.42 crore at an average unit value of ₹440.85 a kg from 61,866 tonnes valued at ₹2,520.02 crore at the unit value of ₹407.34 a kg in the same period the previous fiscal, Sasi Varma, Executive Director and Secretary, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) told BusinessLine.

    High prices

    “High raw nut prices resulted in high kernel costs which makes it difficult to sell in overseas markets. Consequently, more quantities are sold to the domestic market,” he said.

    He said an increase in demand is generally noticed during the winter months .

    The total shipments during April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014 increased by over 13 per cent to 1,13,620 tonnes from 1,00,105 tonnes in the corresponding period the previous fiscal. Total value realisation stood at ₹4,975.96 crore, he said.

    India has a huge domestic market for cashew kernels, trade sources said.

    Domestic demand

    Domestic markets can absorb some 2.5 to 3 lakh tonnes of cashew kernels of various grades, KA Retheesh, Managing Director, Kerala State-owned Cashew Development Corporation (CDC), toldBusinessLine.

    He said exports are around 1.25 lakh tonnes from the organised sector, which sells an equal quantity in the domestic market.

    At the same time, 1.25-1.50 lakh tonnes of cashew kernels are marketed by the unorganised sector. The peak demand season has started and it has already reflected on prices, which have gone up by 25 per cent, he said.

    Prices of wholes, currently, range between ₹800 and ₹1,000 a kg and even at this rate there is a strong demand. In the international market, the average price is below ₹450 a kg.

    - The Hindu

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    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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    With 98% cashew apple going to waste, traders look for alternative use

  • Tuesday, October 21, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • The Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers’ Association (KCMA) has said that it is ready accept the challenge posed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the better utilisation of the cashew apple. It has requested the Prime Minister to constitute a task force with members from industry and research bodies to find viable alternatives on utilisation of cashew apples.

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    In a letter to the Prime Minister, Bola Rahul Kamath, President of KCMA, said that the association would like to take up the challenge posed by the Prime Minister on the proper utilisation of cashew apple on public-private partnership model during his recent visit to Tumkur.
    “We are buying raw cashewnuts from farmers, and are ready to buy even cashew apples from them and put them to proper use,” he said.
    Out of the 4 million tonnes of cashew apples produced in the country, 98 per cent is wasted. Stating that Goa allows distillation to make cashew fenny, he said the laws in other States do not allow such distillation.
    The production of juice from cashew apples opens up a lot of logistical challenges, he said, and expressed doubts about the viability of projects such as production of bio-diesel from cashew apple.
    Kamath suggested that a task force be appointed with representatives from industry and research institutes to identify the viable alternatives on utilisation of cashew apples. Proper utilisation of cashew apples will have many benefits, as it will increase income of farmers and make cashew cultivation more viable.
    The increase in raw cashew production will help cashew industry to expand and generate more jobs in rural India, he said.
    KCMA is ready to take the tasks assigned to it in this respect, he added.
    Source: thehindubusinessline.com

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    0

    Nigeria: Cashew farmers want government to serve as buying agent

  • Thùy Miên
  • THE Cashew Farmers Association of Nigeria, Oyo State Chapter, on Tuesday appealed to the government to assist farmers in selling and exporting of cashew nuts, in order to avoid post-harvest losses.

    Mr Sodiq Adebayo, the association’s chairman told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, that sourcing for market for harvested produce had been a major challenge to cashew farmers.

    clip_image001Adebayo also appealed to the government to serve as buying agent to ensure the exportation of the commodity.

    ``We are appealing to Oyo State Government to create a medium where local farmers can sell directly to government agents at a regulated price to ensure price stability in the international market.

    ``The Ministry of Agriculture owns farmland in Eruwa and Iseyin, where cashew is grown, but the production from these farms is not enough for exportation.

    ``So, we want government to buy from local farmers to have large quantity for exportation.

    ``Farmers usually sell to private agents at unregulated price, which leads to loss of profit to farmers most time;  we sell to them at about N72,000 per tonne,” the chairman said.

    He said that the association’s production capacity for the previous harvest season in February was 466,000 metric tonnes, compared to 452,000 tonnes in 2013.(NAN)

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    Thursday, October 16, 2014

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    Power crisis hits cashew production

  • Thursday, October 16, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • Srikakulam: Palasa and Uddanam areas are famous for cashew crops and production in Srikakulam which are affected by Hudhud cyclone and subsequent power crisis.
    In every acre about six bags (80 kgs) of cashew are being produced. In total, 430 cashew processing units are present in Palasa, Kasibugga and its surrounding areas.

    clip_image001

    Cashew plants in 3,000 acres in all 11 mandals were damaged and power crisis hit the industry hard.
    In over 430 cashew units more than 2,000 bags of cashew was being produced from raw cashew nuts, but it has stopped due to the cyclone and power crisis.
    Raw cashew nuts are being imported in processing units at Palasa from Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Gambia, Nigeria and other countries, but due to power crisis the cashew nuts import has stopped. “To run boilers and heat houses in processing units, power is essential and we are unable to maintain high capacity generators. We closed units six days ago due to which we lost production worth about Rs 10 crore,” said Palasa cashew manufacturers association (PCMA), secretary, M. Suresh Kumar.
    In total 22,000 persons are working in the processing units and they have lost their jobs, said cashew workers union (CWU) secretary, A. Krishnamurhty.
    Phailin and Hudhud cyclones created huge loss to cashew farmers and the industry and if the Government does not provide relief to cashew farming, manufacturing may lose its identity, opined Cashew Farmers Association president, B. HemanthaRao.

    - deccanchronicle.com

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    Raw cashew price hurts exports

  • Thùy Miên
  • KOCHI: Country's exports of processed cashew nuts were down 10% during the period between April and September, hurt by continuing price increase for raw cashew nuts.
    clip_image001According to the figures from Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI), export of cashew kernels declined to 55,471 tonnes from 61,866 tonnes in the comparable period of the previous year. "With the raw material prices up, the exporters here find it impossible to match the global prices of processed cashew nut," said K Sasi Varma, executive director and secretary,CEPCI.
    Babu Oommen, owner of Alphonsa Cashew Industries, Kollam, said that cost and freight prices of raw cashew nut from Africa were in the range $1,500 - $ 1,600 per tonne during the current season. "Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar are the major producers from this region, but factories in Kerala could operate profitably only with a cost and freight price level of $1,200 per tonne," he said.

    As the prices at traditional export markets like the US and western Europe are remaining stagnant, CEPCI is targeting non-traditional markets like the Middle East. CEPCI is also attending the Sial food trade show at Paris. Fifteen exporters from India will be attending the show this month.

    - India Times

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    PM urged to set up taskforce to explore use of cashew apples

  • Thùy Miên
  • The Karnataka Cashew Merchants’ Association has said that it is ready to buy cashew apples, 98 per cent of which go unutilised in the State, from farmers and make proper utilisation through public-private partnership (PPP).

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    Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for optimum utilisation of cashew products, the association has, in a letter to Mr. Modi, suggested that a taskforce be set up for the purpose. The taskforce may comprise members in the industry as well as research institutes to identify viable alternatives on utilising cashew apples, it said.

    Association president Bola Rahul Kamath said that many organisations, including the Directorate of Cashew Nut and Coca Development, the Karnataka Cashew Development Corporation, the Directorate of Cashew Research, are engaged in research activities.

    Unfortunately, the industry is not made aware of the research results thereby hampering proper utilisation of cashew apples, he said. Goa is the only State that has allowed distillation of cashew apples to produce fenny whereas laws in other States are not favourable to this.

    Mr. Kamath said that about 40 lakh tonnes of cashew apple are produced in the country, 98 per cent of which go unutilised. Attempts to make juice out of these apples and produce bio-fuel have not yielded the desirable results. Hence there is a need for a comprehensive approach to the issue.

    The move would definitely boost the income of farmers and encourage others to take up cashew cultivation at a time when India is importing about 8 lakh tonnes of raw cashew, Mr. Kamath said. It would also help the cashew industry to expand its base and provide employment to more people, he added.

    - The Hindu

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