|VINACAS President Nguyen Duc Thanh speaks at the conference (Source: VNA)
Dang Hoang Giang, VINACAS Vice President, said raw cashew prices in Africa climbed 30 – 40% to a record US$1,956 per tonne last year, while cashew nut prices grew only 10-15% in the global market.
The increasing trend continued in February, therefore Vietnamese importers stopped buying cashew from the country, as did Indian firms.
Ta Quang Huyen, Chairman of the Management Board of Hoang Son 1 Company said local importers may need to buy about a million tonnes of cashew in 2018, compared to more than 1.3 million tonnes in 2017.
With favourable weather this year, Vietnam hopes to produce between 400,000 – 500,000 tonnes, Huyen said, adding that Cambodian’s cashew abundance can also help ease Vietnamese cashew processors’ reliance on African sources.
Amid the changes in raw cashew prices, VINACAS and its members will focus more on increasing quality, processing and developing the domestic market.
This year, the sector hopes to earn US$3 billion from selling 300,000 tonnes of cashew, down 2% in volume and value from 2017.
Firms will face losses if they buy raw cashew at high prices to fulfill the target export value of US$4 billion in 2018, Nguyen Duc Thanh, VINACAS president explained.
The association is working with the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on developing cashew material zones, aiming to increase the country’s output to one million tonnes in the next 10 years.