Vietnam cashew industry to face challenges in 2019

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Vietnam Cashew Nuts factory

Hanoi (VNA) – The domestic cashew industry would continue to face difficulties in processing and trading cashew nuts next year, according to the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas).

Prices are likely to remain unchanged from now until March-April 2019, said the association.

There are only about six weeks to go until the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday, when cashew processing factories stop production during the holiday, but many have already halted operations causing a slump in demand.

This had led to prices being left in limbo in Vietnam and Cambodia, as well as in West Africa, said Dang Hoang Giang, Vice Chairman and General Secretary of Vinacas.

Even if Tanzania increased supplies, prices are unlikely to rise, excluding the price of raw materials that have fallen sharply this season, he said.

This year, cashew traders and processors in Europe and the US have not imported as much material from overseas countries as in previous years. This has created a difficult situation for Vietnamese exporters.

The association had recommended local producers find new export markets next year. At the same time, the domestic cashew industry needed to improve competitiveness and meet food hygiene and safety standards to provide efficient export procedures and good customer care services.

It reported Vietnam exported 342,000 tonnes of cashew in the first 11 months of the year, earning 3.1 billion USD. Those figures were up 5.9 percent in volume but down 3.1 percent in value year-on-year.

The average export price of Vietnamese cashew nuts in November reached 7,865 USD per tonne, down 7.2 percent compared to October. This price in the first 11 months dropped 8 percent to 9,115 USD per tonne year on year.

The US, the Netherlands and China remained the three biggest export markets for Vietnamese cashews, accounting for 37.5 percent, 12.3 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively.

The association said last week demand and prices of cashews exported to China had fallen significantly, meaning China probably had enough supply for the coming Lunar New Year.

New regulations in China also require importers to sign contracts and pay duties. This had increased the price of cashews imported from Vietnam, cutting the country’s competitiveness.

Vietnam expected to make 3.5-3.7 billion USD from cashew exports in 2018, according to the association.-VNA