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Cashew export volumes to fall, value not to be affected

Viet Nam is expected to export 320,000 tonnes of cashew worth US$3.3 billion this year, which represents a fall of 9.2 per cent in volume terms due to a sharp fall in harvests due to unfavourable weather, according to the Viet Nam Cashew Association.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country exported 149,000 tonnes of cashew nuts worth about $1.5 billion in the first six months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 4.4 per cent in volume and 20.8 per cent in value.

Speaking at a meeting in HCM City yesterday, its deputy chairman and general secretary, Dang Hoang Giang, said the US, the Netherlands and China remain Viet Nam’s largest buyers, accounting for 54 per cent of shipments.

The average export price was at $9,500 a tonne, up 25 per cent from last year, he said.

But processors lack raw materials to process for exports, he said.

Nguyen Duc Thanh, Vinacas’s chairman, quoted the Global Cashew Council as saying global raw cashew production this year is expected to be three million tonnes, 200,000 tonnes down from last year.

In Viet Nam, unseasonable rainfall and unfavourable weather this year had badly hit output, which plunged by 51,860 tonnes to 252,038 tonnes.

Last year processors had imported 1.06 million tonnes of raw cashew, mostly from African countries.

A maximum of 1 million tonne of raw cashew is expected to be imported this year, he said.

Inventories at processing firms are very low, and to avoid the risk of defaulting on shipments the association has urged firms to be cautious about signing export contracts.

At the seminar, cashew firms also warned about the need to identify reliable foreign partners for importing the raw nuts, revealing that in many instances they had failed to deliver after signing contracts and even receiving advance payments.

Nguyen Duy Tuan of Long An Food Processing and Export JSC suggested that in such cases firms should report the name of the defaulting suppliers to the association so that it could blacklist such sellers and safeguard member companies.

Delegates agreed that with supply reducing, their export prices would increase during the course of the year.

The association urged processors and exporters to pay greater attention to quality and hygiene and food safety.

Viet Nam has been the world’s largest cashew exporter for the last 11 years, last year accounting for 42 per cent of the global export volumes, according to Vinacas.