Global cashew prices are expected to recover in July and August as a number of cashew-growing countries enter the end of their harvest season, benefitting Vietnam that is the world’s largest cashew nut processor and exporter. Vietnam’s cashew exports will also benefit significantly from the recently signed EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, from January to mid-June 2019, Vietnamese businesses exported 174,700 tonnes of cashews worth more than US$1.34 billion, up 9.6 percent in volume and down 13.6 percent in value compared to the same period of 2018. The export price was US$7,689 per tonne, down 21.3 percent compared to the same period last year.
Tran Trong Khoi, Deputy General Director of the Ha My Joint Stock Company (Binh Phuoc), a veteran cashew business, said Vietnam had to import cashews from Africa for production and export due to a shortage in domestic supply, but the quality of the imports was somewhat poor, bringing down export prices.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Agency of Foreign Trade forecast that in the coming months, the cashew price in the global market would recover ahead of the growing annual demand for Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the price of W320 cashews expected to reach US$3.3-3.5/pound.
According to Khoi, cashew growers, processors and exporters should focus on product quality, safety and hygiene in order to take advantages of the trade pact with the EU market. In the first half of this year, while the country’s cashew export value dropped over 13 percent compared to the same time last year, his company’s cashew export value rose slightly due to the clear geographical indications of its products, their traceability and high quality.
According to the Department of Industry and Trade of Binh Phuoc Province, Vietnam’s biggest cashew production and export center, the EU, especially Germany and the Netherlands, are important markets. It said the province will encourage businesses to take advantage of EVFTA’s opportunities and take the initiative in getting information to meet the requirements of importing countries.
Binh Phuoc is now examining cooperation with the Ivory Coast to overcome its cashew shortages. Officials met recently with a delegation from the West African nation, which is a world leading cashew producer with 1.4 million hectares of crops yielding an average of about 500kg of nuts per hectare. The Ivory Coast wants to cooperate with Binh Phuoc’s enterprises in cashews processing because only eight percent of its production is processed intensively for supply to the world market.
According to the Vietnam Cashew Association (VINACAS), the EU remains the biggest importer of Vietnamese cashews after the US, meaning that the signing of the EVFTA will provide many opportunities for the Vietnamese cashew industry.
Source: Mai Ca & Thanh Minh – vietnamnet.vn