Vietnam's imports of crude cashews surged threefold, with 60% coming from Cambodia

Issuing time:2021-07-21 17:04

Vietnam's imports of crude cashews surged threefold, with 60% coming from Cambodia

According to estimates by the Vietnam National Bureau of Statistics, domestic cashew processors imported 480,000 tonnes of cashew nuts in April 2021, which amounted to US $772 million, the same as in March 2021. But compared with the same period in 2020, imports surged 375 percent, and imports also grew a strong 470.5 percent. In the first four months of 2021, Vietnam imported nearly 1.2 million tons of cashews, up 300 percent year on year; Imports reached 1.9 billion US dollars, up 323.5% year on year. The average import price of crude cashews for the first four months of 2021 is estimated at US $1,580 / mt, an increase of 5.8% over the same period in 2020. So far, Vietnam's imports of crude cashews in the first four months of this year have nearly reached the total for the whole of 2020 (1.45 million tons).

Cambodia is Vietnam's largest market for raw cashew nuts, according to the General Administration of Customs of Vietnam. In the first quarter of this year, Vietnam imported 424,000 tons of cashews from Cambodia, up 373.6 percent year on year, accounting for 60 percent of Vietnam's total cashew imports. Imports of cashew nuts from African markets such as Tanzania, Cote d 'Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria also rose sharply in the first few months of the year. It is worth noting that in the first four months of this year, crude cashew import prices showed a downward trend in most markets, such as Tanzania down 8.9%, Cote d 'Ivoire down 30.4%, Ghana down 17.7%, Indonesia down 14.6%, Nigeria down 22.1%, etc. Cambodia's crude cashew nut import prices, on the other hand, increased significantly, up 26.2 percent year on year. Cambodian cashew nuts account for a high proportion of Vietnam's total cashew exports, driving Vietnamese cashew prices to $1,580 per tonne in the first four months of 2020, up 5.8 per cent year on year.

The increase in crude cashew imports was partly due to weather anomalies that delayed the domestic cashew harvest by more than a month. In provinces where cashews are grown, such as Binh Phu and Tongnai, heavy rains often hit the harvest season, making it impossible to dry the cashews and affecting the quality of the cashews. In recent years, the shortage of raw materials in Vietnam has been a problem for cashew processing companies. In the middle of 2020, many small and medium-sized cashew processing plants had to suspend production or reduce capacity and stop purchasing raw materials because the raw material price of cashew nuts was higher than the salable price. As a result, many cashew processors have stepped up imports of raw materials in the first few months of this year to ensure stable production activity, despite higher import prices and no increase in the price at which they are sold after processing. Demand for cashew nuts has remained stable and even increased during the outbreak, particularly in the retail market, where consumption of highly processed cashews has increased. Overall, consumption of cashew nuts is expected to continue to increase.

In addition to the reasons for the increased stockpiling of food to prevent outbreaks, this increase reflects a trend that has continued over the past three years. Currently, Vietnam consumes 50% of the world's total cashew nut production (about 4 million tons/year). In order to meet the growing demand in the consumer market, the Vietnam Cashew Nuts Association estimates that Vietnam's cashew nut imports will reach 1.8 million tons in 2021. But, based on current growth rates, those imports could be even higher.

At present, Vietnam is the world's largest cashew nut processing and export country. According to the 2021 planting plan of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam, 360,000 hectares of cashew nut area will be planted in 2021, equivalent to 99.7 percent of 2020. Cashew nut production will reach 360,000 tons, equivalent to 107.5 percent in 2020. Vietnam's export target for 2021 is US $3.6 billion, up 12.9 percent from the previous year. The African Cashew Alliance predicts that global cashew demand will continue to soar in 2021, especially in Europe and the Americas. In the first four months of 2021, Vietnam exported about 152,000 tons of cashews, up 8.6 percent year on year, according to statistics. Exports amounted to about 89,400 US dollars, down 7.4 percent year on year. The Viet Nam Cashew Association predicts that positive signals will continue to show in cashew exports in the future, as demand for cashew sales in various markets is maintained and has increased following the outbreak.

Image credit: Pixabay

2021 International Fruit and Vegetable Report. All rights reserved.

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