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Cashew nut exports may set new record

Released at: 13:09, 14/11/2015

Cashew nut exports may set new record

Value in 2015 may exceed $2.5 billion as Vietnam continues to be world's largest exporter.

by Chu Khoi - Tue Lam

With turnover in cashew nut exports reaching nearly $2 billion in the first ten months of the year it is forecast that the figure for the year as a whole will set a record of $2.5 billion and Vietnam will continue to have no major rivals in the industry.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), 272,000 tons of cashew nuts worth $1.97 billion were exported in the first ten months, a 6.3 per cent increase in volume and 18.1 per cent in value compared with the same period of 2014. The US, China, and the Netherlands were the three largest import markets, accounting for 35.67 per cent, 12.92 per cent and 12.86 per cent, respectively, of export value.

Price and volume surge

The average export price of cashew nuts since the beginning of the year stands at $7,263 per ton, up 11.8 per cent year-on-year. The price on the global market in October and early November continued to increase strongly thanks to rising demand among consumers.

Many experts predict that this year Vietnam’s cashew nut sector may reach a new export record of 320,000 tons worth $2.5 billion; much higher than in 2014. Cashew nuts are Vietnam’s third-largest agricultural product, after coffee and rice, and accounts for 8 per cent of total export turnover in the agriculture sector.

After exporting its first cashew nuts in 1988 Vietnam now dominates the global market. Consumer demand is growing by about 10 per cent each year worldwide, while the capacity to increase growing areas and productivity is only 5 per cent. Global demand remains quite large and represents a good opportunity for Vietnam’s cashew nut industry.

While many of Vietnam’s key agricultural products are overly dependent on the Chinese market or a only a few major markets, its cashew nuts are exported to more than 50 markets on all continents.

Without rival

Compared to those from African countries the cashew nuts Vietnam produces are of much better quality. The country has established a cashew nut industry that primarily uses machine processing and domestic technology to significantly cut production costs and ensure quality. China is now investing strongly in cashew nut processing to become a stronger exporter but must import all of its raw cashew nuts from Vietnam.

Although exports are continually increasing there are difficulties being experienced due to a shortage of raw material resources, making the promotion of domestic cashew nut productivity an urgent task. According to Mr. Nguyen Van Hoa, Deputy Head of the Department of Crop Production at MARD, Vietnam has more than 300,000 ha of land for growing cashew nuts, concentrated in the provinces of Binh Phuoc, Ba Ria Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Binh Thuan, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, and Dak Lak.

To ensure the sustainable development of the cashew nut industry a program of intensive farming and renovating cashew nut farms, initiated by the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) and directed by MARD, has made strides forward in recent years in improving productivity and quality. Vinacas has introduced a total of 190 demonstration sites on the transplantation of cashew nut farms, which have improved harvest productivity by 20-30 per cent compared to previous years. Although the area of cashew farms remains at 300,000 ha, the cashew nut farm renovation program will raise cashew nut output to 450,000 tons by 2020.

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