Cashew kernel export price has not increased, but the import price of raw cashew has risen because the processing capacity of the processing factories is too large, always looking for raw materials. Photo: Internet
Quantity increased, value decreased
According to the latest information from the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), cashew nut exports in the first quarter of this year reached 108,000 tons and US$634 million, increasing by 13.2% in volume but down by 5.8% in value compared to the same period in 2020.
The United States, China and the Netherlands remained the three largest cashew import markets of Vietnam, accounting for 25.1%, 16.8% and 9.5% of the total export value, respectively. In the first months of 2021, cashew export value increased the most in the United Arab Emirates market (5.67 times higher). In contrast, the market with the biggest drop in cashew export value was the UK market, which fell by 58.9%.
Notably, the average export cashew price in the first two months of 2021 reached US$5,867/ton, down by 16.8% compared to the same period in 2020. In the domestic market, the price of raw cashew material fluctuated in contrast in the month. Specifically, dried cashew nuts bought in Binh Phuoc decreased from VND34,000/kg to VND31,500/kg; In Dong Nai, dried cashew bought in buckets increased from VND28,000/kg to VND30,500/kg.
“Generally, in the first three months of the year, the price of raw material in Binh Phuoc increased from the beginning of the year until about mid-March, then started to decrease, while it increased slightly in Dong Nai,” Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the Department Processing and Market Development for agricultural products said.
From a business perspective, Mr. Ta Quang Huyen, General Director of Hoang Son 1 Company (Bu Dang district, Binh Phuoc) said that, since the beginning of the year, cashew consumption to the cashew export markets of Vietnam was positive. However, the growth rate of export volume is much higher than the export value. That is the reason why the average export price in the first quarter of 2021 was lower than the same period last year.
“The low price of cashew kernels for export is due to the influence of Covid-19 from the previous year,” said Mr. Huyen.
According to analysis from the Vietnam Cashew Association, the first quarter of the cashew industry still exported well, increased sharply in volume, but the export price was lower than the same period last year. Therefore, the increase in export turnover was not commensurate with the increase in volume. There is a paradox that the cashew kernel export price has not increased but the raw cashew import price still increases because the processing capacity of the factories is too large, always looking for raw materials. That is the cause of the factories competing to buy raw materials.
Mr. Pham Van Cong, Chairman of the Vietnam Cashew Association, said: “The export market for cashew in the first six months of the year is still difficult. In the second half of 2021, the pandemic situation around the world will probably be controlled, from which the export will be more favorable. I hope 2021 will be a successful year for the cashew industry.”
Some experts in the cashew industry assessed that the raw cashew market this year will experience many fluctuations. The raw cashew exporting countries offer policies to limit the sale of raw cashew at low prices. Therefore, the price of raw material this year is generally higher than that of the previous year. The recommendation for exporting enterprises is not to import many raw materials if the import price is high and not balanced with the price of cashew kernels.
In the long term, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Khoi, Deputy Head of Science – Technology Department of the Vietnam Cashew Association, said: To maintain advantages, increase competitiveness and avoid shifting production to countries with abundant raw materials, cashew processing factories in Vietnam need to have orientation and implementation of necessary solutions in science and technology. In particular, factories need to especially focus on improving quality and ensuring food safety and hygiene in some stages such as cutting (high oil contamination rate).
“In the long run, Vietnamese cashew enterprises must also build up a Vietnamese cashew brand identity, own technology, improve management capacity and create a competitive advantage in cashew production and processing compared to other countries; gradually shift from raw processing to deep processing to increase product value as well as the brand value of Vietnamese cashew,” Mr. Khoi said.