Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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India: Cashew processors resent lack of government support

  • Wednesday, July 30, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • Cashew processors in the state have urged the government to make necessary arrangements to export their products tooverseas buyers.
    "Odisha is the third largest state in the country in cashew cultivation, production and processing but we are unable to export to other countries. The processors from Kerala and Karnataka export the products of our state and earn profits", said Rajendra Sabat, president Odisha Cashew Processors Association (OCPA) here.
    clip_image001Lack of government support has been a dampener for the cashew processors, who are operating on thin margins for being unable to export their products.
    "If we can export at least 50 per cent of our production, we can earn around Rs 500 crore every year", he added.
    "The government needs to provide all support to enter into the export market like overseas buyer contacts, port and container facilities and financial support to the entrepreneurs to compete with exporters of other states", said Sabat.
    The OCPA officials spoke on their constraints at a workshop on 'Awareness Programme on Quality Technology Tool (QTT) and Quality Management Standard (QMS) of Ganjam Cashew Cluster in Food Processing' here. The workshop was organised by Odisha Young Entrepreneurs' Association (OYEA). Jogendra Behera, state minister for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) inaugurated the workshop.
    "The government will look into the matter and try its best to develop the cashew sector in the state", the minister assured. He also asked the processors to ensure production quality to compete with their counterparts in other states.
    MLA (Berhampur) Ramesh Chandra Chyaupatnaik urged the minister to provide financial support to the cashew processing units, particularly in Ganjam district, which suffered major damage from the tropical cyclonic storm Phailin in October last year.
    Odisha produces around 100,000 tonne of cashew with an area of 160,000 hectares under cultivation. Around 300 cashew processing units with over 140,000 tonne processing capacity per annum, are functioning in the state.
    "Due to lack of supporting policy, we procure raw cashews from other neighboring states like West Bengal and also from West African countries to run our units", said the OCPA president. Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Koraput and Nabarangpur are the major cashew producing districts in the state.

    - BS

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    Mozambique seeks funding for cashew production

  • Thùy Miên
  • Mozambique’s Cashew Institute (INCAJU) said it needs funding to launch commercial cashew production in Mogovolas, Nampula province.

    clip_image001Filomena Maiopué, director of INCAJU said that a 10-hectare plot had been selected to plant cashew trees, Vietnam, the project’s partner, had provided the necessary know how, but funding had yet to be secured.

    This will be the largest cashew production project in Mozambique and the scheme is later expected to be rolled out to the rest of the country.

    A cashew research centre was recently created in Nassuruma, Nampula province, in partnership with Tanzania, with a view to bolstering research and studies of the crop in Mozambique.

    Cashews are produced in almost all of Mozambique’s southern provinces, in Sofala and Zambézia in central Mozambique as well as in Nampula and Cabo Delgado in the north.

    Average annual cashew production in Mozambique is estimated at 90,000 tons

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    USAID moves to support Nigerian cashew industry

  • Thùy Miên
  • Efforts by the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) to improve the fortunes of its members have received a major boost as the association is in talks with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Nigerian Expanded Trade and Transport (NNEXTT) to strengthen its capacity to provide evidence based advocacy and facilitate access to technical assistance for its membership.

    clip_image001

    Experts have identified low production yields, low value addition, poor access to finance and high energy costs as some of the challenges facing the Nigerian cashew industry and these have constrained the sector from fulfilling its potentials as one of the main sources of non-oil revenue for the country.

    Nigeria is currently ranked as the sixth largest cashew producer in the world, but studies have shown that it can quickly move to number two with the required support of key stakeholders.

    NCAN is looking to develop the cashew value chain, improve crop yields through new plantings, introduce better farm management practices, efficient aggregation, storage & logistics as well as attract new investments into processing of both the raw cashew nut and the cashew fruit. These interventions, the association believes, would better harness the potentials of the sector for development.

    “Less than 20 percent of what is produced is being processed, which means that we are exporting our jobs. No wonder there is so much unemployment and insecurity in Nigeria. The bane of the cashew sector, over the years, has been weak access to finance which has made the sector to grow inefficiently with resultant export of 80 percent of annual crop as RCN,” the national president of the association, Tola Faseru, said.

    According to him, with appropriate incentives, the sector could easily increase annual export earnings fourfold from N25 billion to N200 billion.

    “Capital is one problem with farmers. Every other cash crop in Nigeria that is exported enjoys assistance from government, except cashew. Cashew, which is providing significant employment opportunities, has not been given as much attention as other cash crops,” Sotonye Anga, the spokesperson of the association said at the weekend in Abuja.

    NEXTT, a project of the USAID, designed to inter alia improve the capacities of Nigerian businesses, is currently partnering with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to design sector strategies that allow Nigerian branded cashew trade more competitively in global markets.

    - businessdayonline.com

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    Monday, July 28, 2014

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    After record cashew export, farmers feel the pinch

  • Monday, July 28, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • KOCHI: After a record export of almost Rs 5,000 crore last year, cashew exporters are finding the going tough this year with exports yet to pick up and prices of imported raw cashew ruling high.

    Cashew exports have dropped 15% in quantity and 6 % in value for three months ended June 2014 at 25,305 tonne valued at Rs 1,106 crore. India has been out priced by Vietnam in the international market.

    clip_image001

    This may not be too much of a worry for the exporters right now. What is bothering them is that the during the same three months last year, the raw cashew imports went up 53% to Rs 1,825 crore. In terms of quantity, it was higher by 28% at 2,78,365 tonne.

    "Raw cashew nut prices are hovering around $1,300 per tonne. Except for a brief period, the prices of raw nut bought from Ghana and Ivory Coast have remained above $1,000," said Babu Oommen, proprietor of Alphonsa Cashew Industries. At the end of last year, the raw nuts from Tanzania and Mozambique had burned a hole in their pocket at $1,400 per tonne.

    The exporters expected the prices to ease when the production from west Africa came into full swing. An export price in the range of $3.50 to 3.75 per pound would justify the high import price, they feel. But the reality is that cur rent Indian prices are around $3.20 per pound.

    "Vietnam is selling at $3.10 to $3.15 per pound. Unlike India, which depends mainly on manual labour, Vietnam is more into mechanised processing and is able to keep the cost down," said P Somarajan, proprietor of Kailas Cashew Exports.

    Vietnam is less dependent on imports as their domestic production is better than India.

    India's cashewnut production De velopment for 2013-14 is estimated at 7,36,000 tonne by Directorate of Cashewnut and Cocoa. The raw nut import came to over 7,50,000 tonne last year.

    "The export is almost entirely dependent on imports. The domestic production mainly goes for processing for the local market," Babu Oommen said.

    After the holidays in several countries, the export market is expected to pick up.

    - India Times

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    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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    India: Exports slip on higher cashew prices

  • Tuesday, July 22, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • KOCHI, JULY 22: 

    Cashew kernel prices continued to rise in June at all origins and markets. As a result, shipments of the commodity declined compared with the same month a year ago.

    During June, shipments stood at 9,590 tonnes valued at ₹422.82 crore at an unit value of ₹440.88 a kg against 10,380 tonnes valued at ₹422.75 crore at an unit value of ₹407.27 a year ago, according to Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) sources.

    Exports during April-June this year totalled 25,305 tonnes valued at ₹1,106.21 crore with the unit value being ₹437.12 a kg, while they were 29,802 tonnes valued at ₹1,177.09 crore (unit value of ₹394.94 a kg) in the year-ago period.

    clip_image001Competition
    Sasi Varma, Executive Director and Secretary of CEPCI, attributed the decline to the rise in prices and competition from other tree nuts.

    Exports of roasted and salted cashew also slipped by around 5 per cent during the first quarter to 216 tonnes valued at ₹8.97 crore against 439 tonnes valued at ₹15.10 crore in the same period a year ago.

    In this case also, the rise in prices is mainly attributed to the decline. Similarly, shipments of cashew nut shell liquid fell to 1,478 tonnes valued at ₹7.02 crore from 1,717 tonnes valued at ₹6.56 crore, he said.

    Rising imports
    Imports of raw cashew during the first quarter of the current fiscal are up substantially at 2,78,365 tonnes valued at ₹1,825.53 crore (unit value of ₹65.58) against 2,17,898 tonnes valued at ₹1,194.31 crore (unit value of ₹54.81) in the year-ago period.

    Industry sources at Kollam said the rise in raw cashew prices has pushed the kernel prices up and the trade is not able to get the parity price from exports.

    Imports have to be made to keep the factories running and meet the commitments, they said.

    According to Pankaj, a Mumbai-based dealer, as the prices paid for RCN in the current season are substantially higher than 2013, processors may not be able to continue selling kernels at the lower end of the range.

    “At the same time, the need for small processors to keep selling regularly will prevent prices from going up too much,” he said.

    - The Hidu

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    Guinea-Bissau 2014 cashew exports up 40 percent so far

  • Thùy Miên
  • BISSAU, July 22 (Reuters) - Guinea-Bissau's 2014 cashew exports reached 70,000 tonnes by July 19 since the start of the season in March, up 40 percent on the same period last year, the government said.

    Trade minister Sherifo Embalo said another 60,000 tonnes of cashew nuts were awaiting shipment, bringing this year's harvest so far to just under the total production last year of 140,000 tonnes.

    clip_image001

    A jump in exports of the snack, the main foreign exchange earner of the tiny West African nation, would boost the economy of the politically unstable country, which has a new government after two years of transitional rule following a 2012 coup.

    "Guinea-Bissau has already exported 70,000 tonnes of cashew," Embalo said in comments to journalists over the weekend.

    Embalo said the newly elected government was prioritising the cashew sector over timber exports. Timber exports from Bissau, to China especially, rose spectacularly during transition rule because of illegal logging.

    Fears that the government may clamp down on timber exports have caused congestion at the country's main port as timber operators scramble to ship out their wood before a possible ban.

    The government has also said it will stop the smuggling of cashews over the border into neighbouring Senegal, a flow that Embalo said cost Guinea-Bissau some 60,000 tonnes of nuts each year.

    Guinea-Bissau is the world's fifth-largest cashew exporter behind India, Vietnam, Ivory Coast and Brazil. Almost all the crop is exported without any processing.

    The sector employs some 80 percent of the workforce in the former Portuguese colony of 1.6 million people. A fall in cashew prices last year forced many families deeper into poverty.

    (Reporting by Alberto Dabo; Writing by Daniel Flynn and Bate Felix; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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    Cashew Exporters to Benefit from New Deal

  • Thùy Miên
  • KOLLAM: Cashew exporters are set to save more than Rs 21 crore a year in cargo transport as the ports of Kollam and Tuticorin finalised a deal to transport cashew cargo meant for import and export. A decision regarding this was  finalised in the presence of Ports Minister K Babu with representatives from both ports and cashew exporters here on Monday.

    clip_image001With this deal, 43,000 truck loads of cashew would be transported via ship route between the ports, thereby saving time and handling charges. If a container of cargo is taken through sea route, a merchant can save Rs 5,000. Besides they can also enjoy the subsidy of Rs 1 per tonne extended by the State Govt for water transportation. The minister said the facility would start functioning by Sept. Tuticorin port receives maximum quantity of imported raw cashewnuts in the country and with 400 cashew factories, Kollam is the hub of cashew export and import in the country.

    Ever since the SC verdict on restriction of container movement on roads, the govt had been promoting the water transportation route. Ramji Krishnan, CEO, Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminal, who represented the Tuticorin port, said he was satisfied with the infrastructure in the port here. P Sundaran, vice-chairman of Cashew Export Promotion Council, welcomed the decision and said that the decision would help in the timely arrival of raw cashewnuts.

    K Babu said that a slew of measures for infrastructure upgradation will be done which will change the face of the port and the adjacent coastal area. He said that online customs facility would be implemented soon which would speed up cargo handling in the port.

    For other facilities such as allotting permanent sales tax officials and VAT officials, which had been the demand of exporters from a long time, the minister said that a decision regarding this would be taken in the next two days.  On setting up a storage facility, the Minister agreed to take up the issue with the Finance Ministry.

    “Facilities in the Cashew Export Promotion Council here would be used as there is no permanent lab now in the port,” he said.

    - newindianexpress.com

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    Sunday, July 20, 2014

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    Cashew Industry Set to Feel the Pinch

  • Sunday, July 20, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • KOLLAM: Cashew exports, which earned the country $800 million or `4,200 crore during the financial year that ended on March 31, may be severely affected if the 10-day relay protest by the Kerala Cashew Workers Centre (CITU) from Monday spreads to 800-odd private export companies in the state.

    Kerala accounts for nearly 60 per cent of Indian cashew exports and more than 95 per cent of its total exports come from private players. Kerala Cashew Workers Centre would begin protests outside 40 factories under the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) and Kerala State Cashew Workers Apex Industrial Co-operative Society (Capex) from July 21 to 30, demanding among other things doubling of minimum wages for cashew workers and immediate disbursement of gratuity dues.

    clip_image001

    If unresolved, the protest would spread to private factories in Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram and Alappuzha, said J Mercykuttyamma, head of Kerala Cashew Workers Centre. Kollam, state’s cashew export hub, has 400 cashew factories. The Kerala Cashew Workers Centre is also demanding opening up of factories of Cashew Development Corporation and Capex.

    Industry officials said that the cashew export sector was going through a very delicate phase and any attempt to disrupt the slow revival in the sector after last year’s slump would result in grave consequences. The export value declined 20 per cent in the financial year ended on March 31, 2014. Similarly, volume declined 13 per cent to 100,105 metric tonnes in the same period. “This protest is just a ploy by the trade union to extract money with festive bonus in sight. The protest, howsoever innocuous will have an impact on productivity, lead to loss of work hours and many owners would be forced to shut their units,” said a senior official with Kollam-based Vijayalaxmi Cashew Co, the top exporter from the state. The company has 19 large factori es in Kerala, 59 small units in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

    Though cashew factory owners in Kerala have factories in other states, they prefer having their export units based in Kerala mainly due to the skilled labour in the state.

    According to Sasi Verma, executive director at Cashew Export Promotion Council of India, the industry is at a stage where the exporters are not able to realise even the production value.

    Companies are finding it unprofitable to run the factories when the cashew nuts are priced high and the exported kernals are getting low value in the international markets. Even the top exporter like Vijayalaxmi Cashew Co was shut for 45 days in the April-May period, he pointed out.

    Some companies went ahead and imported raw cashew nuts from East African countries such as Tanzania paying $200 per tonne above the market rate, without understanding the cyclical nature of the trade. Many companies are limping back to normalcy after prices of raw nuts dipped a little in West African countries such as Ghana, Ivory Coast etc.

    Any production disruption at this stage would sound a death knell for those firms which have huge debt on its books, said industry officials.

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    Cashew generated 170 million dollars in 2013

  • Thùy Miên
  • The cashew industry generated 170 million dollars in the form of foreign exchange earnings for the economy in 2013.

    Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister who made this known in Sunyani said the industry is the largest contributor to non-traditional export crops.

    The Deputy Regional Minister was speaking at the closing session of a five-day master training programme, for stakeholders in the cashew sector, drawn Ghana, Burkina-Faso, Togo, Benin, Cote D’Iviore, Senegal and  Sierra Leone.

    clip_image001Attended by 60 participants, the training programme was organised by the African Cashew Initiative (ACi) in collaboration with African Cashew Alliance with support from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana.

    It was aimed at developing a pool of certified cashew experts in West Africa, with in-depth knowledge onthe cashew value chain.

    Mr Adjei said the impact of cashew on poverty reduction and the environment in the Savanna regions has been significant.

    He entreated investors who are interested in the cashew industry to come into the region and take advantage of the suitable land and vegetation that promote the cultivation of the highly economic crop.

    Mr Siegfried Leffler, Country Director of German Development Cooperation, one of the funding agencies, said ACi has so far trained about 300,000 cashew farmers in the participating countries with increase of their annual income by 12 million Euros.

    In addition, he said 20 processors in West-Africa had received technical and business advisory support in its build up phase and employing more than 5,000 people.

    Mr Leffler noted that the challenges in the young African cashew sector are multiple and needed the efforts of all actors – producers, processors, buyers, governments, NGOs and expert services.

    He explained that the cooperation would continue to fulfill its core business capacity development for African countries which include building individual knowledge, as well as institutional development and networking.

    Ann-Christin Berger, Communication Manager, ACi said the first two sessions of the Master TrainingProgramme were successfully held in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso in December 2013 and Bouaké, Côted’Ivoire in April 2014.

    “At the heart of this comprehensive Master Training Programme are facilitators and technical experts who teach, evaluate and potentially re-design each training session according to participants’ needs,” she added.

    Participants were presented with certificates after going through topics such as the economics of cashew production and cashew processing, development of improved planting material, data collection methods for proper monitoring and evaluation as well as alternative and innovative media for disseminating information and collecting data.

    Source: GNA

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    Vietnam: Cashew exports anticipate year-end breakthrough

  • Thùy Miên
  • The Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) predicts that the country’s cashew export turnover will hit US$2.2 billion this year.
    Exports are expected to include 270,000 ton cashew nuts with total export turnover of US$1.8 billion, cashew shell oil and other products. Last year, cashew exports yielded $1.8 billion.
    clip_image001Vietnam exported 133,000 tons of cashew nuts bringing about US$847 million in the first six months, up 20.1 percent in volume and 22.1 percent in value over the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
    Vinacas chairman Nguyen Duc Thanh said that Vietnam exports cashew products to 40 countries worldwide. The United States becomes the largest importer with 40 percent of Vietnam’s export volume. It is followed by European countries with 30 percent, China with 20 percent and Australia 11 percent.
    Source: saigon-gpdaily.com.vn

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    Cashew trees in Mozambique to be treated for pests

  • Thùy Miên
  • Around 4.5 million cashew trees in Mozambique will this year be sprayed to prevent pests that affect cashew nut production, the director of the National Cashew Institute (INCAJU), Filomena Maiópuè said in Nampula cited by Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias.

    clip_image001

    Maiópuè, who was speaking at the launch of the National Cashew Tree Treatment Campaign said that half the trees due to be sprayed were located in Nampula province, the largest cashew production area, which provides jobs to 9,000 people, 5,000 of which are women.

    The spraying operation will be carried out by 3,000 workers.

    The director of INCAJU said that the government was studying the mechanisms it should be in place to set the benchmark price in Mozambique for the sale of cashews.(macauhub/MZ)

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    Monday, July 7, 2014

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    Tanzania: Processing plants set to revitalize cashew farming

  • Monday, July 7, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • The Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT) in collaboration with cashewnut stakeholders are planning to construct three new processing plants in the southern regions to cut the loss that the country incurs for exporting raw cashew.

    Most of the Tanzanian raw cashew crop that accounts to about 90 per cent is exported to other countries including India as raw crop, and only a small portion of less than 10 per cent is processed internally.

    clip_image001This was unveiled in Dar es Salaam yesterday by the CBT Branch Manager, Tunduru District, Ruvuma Region, Ms Theofora Nyoni, at the ongoing Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) taking place at Sabasaba grounds along Kilwa road.

    “The CBT is deeply concerned and currently seeking out a way that will help cut back the loss for which farmers and the nation is incurring by exporting raw cashew,” she said.

    She said by exporting raw cashew, the government is losing much needed revenues and employment opportunities which could be created in the factories and other taxes and fees.

    In a bid to promote local consumption, Ms Nyoni said the CBT has embarked on promoting ‘cashew nut day’ that takes place during the Sabasaba exhibitions where people are given free cashew nuts to taste.

    She said most of the large scale cashew firms are export processors, with only a few that are both processors and traders. The total installed cashew nut processing capacities for the large firms in Tanzania in 2012 was about 94,000 tonnes per season.

    The country had earlier about 12 factories for processing nuts but in the 1990s all were privatised to rescue the market of raw nuts produced. Mr Nyoni said production has been on the increase with the exception of last year where it dropped to 127,000 tonnes from 158,000 tonnes produced in the year 2011/12.

    This year again, production is expected to shoot up due to abundant rains that showered the giant producing southern regions. Other statistics indicate that the country used to produce over 20 per cent of global cashew in the 1970s, peaking at 145,000 tonnes in 1974, but then in 1980s collapsed to some three per cent before regaining to 158,000 tonnes in 2012.

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    Monday, June 30, 2014

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    Cashew declines on low demand

  • Monday, June 30, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • Cashew prices fell by Rs 5 per kg in the national capital today on subdued demand from retailers and bulk consumers.
    clip_image001Sufficient stocks position following increased arrivals from producing belts also weighed on cashew prices.
    Cashew kernel (No 180, 210, 240 and 230) prices fell Rs 5 each to settle at Rs 815-825, Rs 710-720, Rs 595-635 and Rs 515-535 per kg, respectively.
    Following are today's quotations (per 40 kg):
    Almond (California) Rs 17,900 Almond (Gurbandi-new) Rs 8,300-8,500; Almond (Girdhi) Rs 4,600-4,900; Abjosh Afghani Rs 8,000-22,000.
    Almond Kernel (California-new) Rs 610-635 per kg, Almond Kernel (Gurbandi-new) Rs 500-540 per kg.

    - Business Standard

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    Thursday, June 26, 2014

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    India: Cashew kernel exports fall

  • Thursday, June 26, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • After a record rise in cashew kernel exports last year, exports of the commodity have seen a decline in the first two months of this financial year, owing to a shortage of raw cashew nuts. A decline in production in India and African countries led to the shortage.
    For April and May this year, kernel exports stood at 15,715 tonnes, compared with 19,904 tonnes in the corresponding period last year, a decline of 21 per cent.
    “The availability of raw cashew nuts was lower during the fourth quarter of last financial year; this was processed and exported in the months of April and May. Though the processors imported a higher quantity in the first two months, they faced a shortage in the preceding months. In addition, the prices of raw nuts rose significantly, adding to the cost of processors,” said Rahul Kamath, partner at Mangalore-based Bola Surendra Kamath and Sons.
    He said new crop arrivals were seen only in April and due to a smaller crop this year, prices of raw cashew nuts increased about 50 per cent to Rs 100 a kg. Nuts imported from Tanzania were priced at Rs 94 a kg, which added to the processing sector’s costs. During April and May, many processing units either worked at half their capacities or were shut, Kamath said.
    In value terms, exporters earned Rs 683.39 crore in April and May, 10.3 per cent lower than in the year-ago period, when their earnings stood at Rs 761.96 crore. In dollar terms, the earnings were $114.2 million, a decline of 18 per cent compared with the year-ago period’s $139.3 million. The average unit-value realisation was, however, higher at Rs 434.85 a kg, against Rs 382.82 a kg for April and May 2013.

    clip_image001“During the beginning of this financial year, raw cashew nuts weren’t freely available for exporters; the rupee was steady against the dollar. Some issues at the Tuticorin port resulted in a huge pile-up of trucks and led to delay in nuts exports. More, domestic prices were encouraging and the processors were happy to sell in domestic markets,” said Sasi Varma, executive director, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India.
    In May, exports stood at 8,397 tonnes, against 7,318 tonnes in April. “At the beginning of the financial year, there was a slight drop in demand in consuming countries. But it is picking up now and we expect exports to pick up in the coming months. The buyers adopted a wait-and-watch policy in the first two months. Unavailability of raw cashew nuts was the main reason for decline in exports,” said Pankaj Sampath of Mumbai-based Samsons Traders said.
    He said through the past six months, there was renewed demand for broken grades from buyers in the EU and the US. For 2013-14, India exported a record 113,260 tonnes, valued at Rs 4,976 crore, an all-time high.

    - business-standard.com

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    Monday, June 23, 2014

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    Cashew to firm up on global demand

  • Monday, June 23, 2014
  • Thùy Miên
  • Robust demand for cashew kernels across the globe is likely to help firm up the market, traders said. With buyers having minimum inventory, any surge in consumption is likely to lead to rally in the market. A drought in California, which produces more than 80% of the world’s almond production, is likely to lead to an increase in the demand for other nuts.

    India is the world's largest consumer of cashew nuts with trade estimates of consumption ranging from 170,000 - 190,000 tonne. It is also one of the largest processor and exporter of kernels.

    clip_image001“Despite the substantial increase in the prices of many other nuts in the last 6 to 12 months, cashew prices have been moving within a narrow range for more than 2 years. Premium for higher grades and discount for lower grades has narrowed in the last six months. Indications are that cashew usage in the main importing countries has been increasing, probably as a result of the stable prices,” Pankaj Sampat of Mumbai-based Samsons Trading said.

    “From middle of April, there has been reasonable activity in all markets, mainly for May-August shipments but some business was done for fourth quarter also. Consumption in the Indian market was steady,” he added.

    Pankaj adds that continuing the trend established in the last two years, many kernel buyers have been buying for smaller spreads to take advantage of lower prices from a larger number of smaller processors who need to sell on spot basis. “But, some buyers have been paying slightly higher prices to secure supplies for longer period from larger and better organized processors,” he said.

    Cashew nut exports during the last fiscal touched 1,13,260 tonne, valued at Rs 4,975.96 crore, as per the data given by data provided by the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India. The increase is 13% in terms of volume while the value has gone up by 23%.

    Pratap Nair of Vijayalakshmi Cashews, who is also the ambassador of the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC), feels that the consumption of cashew nuts is likely to increase with the health benefits clearly established.

    “The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that those who regularly consumed a one-ounce daily serving of tree nuts had a 20 % lower risk of dying from any cause during the three-decade long study compared to those who did not eat nuts.

    The study found that nut eaters enjoyed longer lifespan even if they did not exercise,” he added.

    - The Hindu

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