Cashew prices are sitting much lower than they were at the same time last year. (Photo: congthuong.vn)
 
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Cashew prices are low at present, according to the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas).

Over recent days, the price of fresh cashew nuts has stood at just 28,000-30,000 VND per kilo at farms in Binh Phuoc province and 30,000-32,000 VND for nuts delivered to factories. The price of dried cashews was about 36,000 VND per kilo.

In the same period last year, the price was 40,000-42,000 VND per kilo for fresh cashews and 50,000 VND per kilo for dried cashews.

According to traders, the prices are still going down and there is no sign of an imminent recovery.

Tran Huu Hau from Vinacas said prices have increased slightly from the record low in late February of 20,000-24,000 VND per kilo for fresh cashews because processing facilities temporarily stopped producing cashews during the Tet holidays.

Nguyen Van Tuan, the owner of a cashew farm in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, said the price of cashews in his province is higher than in other areas due to their better quality and convenient location. However, the price of fresh cashews at the farm dropped to 29,500 VND per kilo from 32,000-33,000 VND at the beginning of last week.

Now that it is the harvest season, many farmers are worried they will face pressure from traders to reduce prices even further, he said.

According to the association, domestic cashew output is only about 400,000 tonnes while the annual demand of domestic enterprises is about 1.5 million tonnes. The cashew processing industry has depended on imported materials to meet demand.

Ho Ngoc Cam, Director of Phuong Minh Agro-Forestry Product Import and Export Co. Ltd, said enterprises have imported a small volume of raw cashews while prices of domestic cashews have dropped dramatically.

If factories import large quantities, the price is expected to reduce further on the domestic market, Cam said.

According to Cam, raw cashew prices in Africa are currently about 1,300-1,400 USD per tonne, 600-700 USD lower than the same period last year.

Global price reductions are due to oversupply, with many cashew-producing countries in the middle of their harvest seasons including Vietnam, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Benin, Mozambique and Ghana, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Export Import Department.

The average export price of Vietnamese cashews in the first two months of the year was 8,197 USD per tonne, 20.1 percent lower than the same period last year, according to the General Department of Customs.

Vietnam exported 47,700 tonnes of cashews in the first two months of this year, earning 390.9 million USD. Exports increased by 4.2 percent in volume but reduced by 16.7 percent in value year on year.

The Export Import Department expected prices to recover in the long term. In the second quarter of 2019, global prices are likely to recover due to increased demand in China and some other countries.

The department also expects prices this year to be higher than in 2017 and 2018.

According to the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council, the demand for cashew nuts this year is expected to increase from April 2019 and be stable until the end of the year.-VNS/VNA