Global cashew demand is expected to be stronger than last year, but Vietnam’s exports are likely to diminish due to lower output and stocks, according to the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas).

In the first two months of the year, the country exported 33,000 tonnes worth 240 million USD, representing an increase of 60.7 percent in volume and 35.3 percent in value year-on-year, Vinacas Chairman Nguyen Duc Thanh said.

Vietnam had earned 1.7 billion USD from exports of 200,000 tonnes of cashew nut and cashew-based products last year, he said.

The value can be the same as last year, but volumes will definitely be down, he said, adding that due to prolonged hot weather, cashew output is forecast to fall.

The cashew industry faces three main difficulties, including a shortage of raw materials, too many exporters, and volatile prices.

Unable to meet demand, processors import raw cashew from Cambodia, Ivory Coast, and other African countries to process for export.

But importing from African countries caused risks, especially with regard to quality because they had a lot of old cashew still in stock, Thanh said.

The prices of raw cashew nut in the domestic market were at 29.000-30.000 VND a kilo depending on quality.

This means companies could incur losses of they do not have good export contracts.

Last year, some 330 businesses exported cashew, making the industry unwieldy and hard to oversee. The association plans to work with relevant agencies to resolve this problem. -VNA