Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Vietnam's cashew exports in January jumped 15.6 percent year-on-year to 183 million USD, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In volume terms, they were up 9 percent to 24,000 tonnes.

The US, China, and the Netherlands remained the three largest buyers, accounting for 34.3 percent, 14.7 percent, and 12.8 percent of the exports.

According to the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas), demand, both abroad and locally, has increased strongly this year and cashew processors and exporters have worked to increase supply. Demand surges in Vietnam and China during Lunar New Year, it said.

In the domestic market, the price of raw cashew nut has gone up to around 40,000 VND per kilograme, 1,000 VND up from December.

Dang Hong Giang, Vinacas Deputy Chairman, said exports to TPP member countries account for more than 50 percent of the total, with the US being the biggest buyer.

The TPP is a good thing for the cashew industry, he said, adding that lower tariffs under the deal would enable Vietnamese firms to increase exports to member countries.

However, the industry needs breakthrough measures to improve quality and output of raw cashew as it still imports a large quantity from other countries, he said.

The application of advanced farming techniques has significantly improved productivity in many areas, which has helped meet at least 50 percent of demand for raw cashew, he said.

The association is implementing a cleaner production programme to improve the quality of the nuts, he said, noting that quality would decide the survival and sustainable growth of the industry.-VNA