The lesson of lack of raw materials has recurred in the cashew sector with the raw cashew shortage forecast to hit 150,000 tonnes, according to the Vietnam Cashew Association (VINACAS).

This year’s cashew output was only 300,000 tonnes, 50,000 tonnes less than the previous crop due to bad weather and the shrinkage of cashew acreage in the southeastern region.

VINACAS said the situation has taken place for many years as local cashew farms were capable of meeting only 60 percent of processors’ demand and the country had to import between 200,000-250,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts from Africa .

To reach the target of exporting 190,000 tonnes of cashew nuts for 1 billion USD by the end of this year, the country needs 700,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts. So far this year, enterprises have imported over 120,000 tonnes of cashew.

However, imports of raw cashew nuts were difficult as the world cashew output decreased 20 percent, making the prices of raw cashew increase by 30 percent over the same period last year, equal to 1,000 USD per tonne.

VINACAS has asked the government to assist cashew processors with capital to buy raw materials and consider reducing the tax on raw cashew imports to zero percent.

In the first seven months of the year, Vietnam exported about 100,000 tonnes of cashew nuts, earning 531 million USD, a year-on-year increase of 5 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

Vietnam has been the world’s largest cashew exporter, making up 37 percent of the global market. Vietnamese cashew products have been exported to over 40 markets, with the US and the Netherlands being major markets./.