Cashew Market Report – Jan 8, 2014

Cashew market has been extremely quiet during Dec 2013.  There were stray sales to the traditional markets.   As usual, there were regular sales to emerging markets which normally buy for prompt / nearby shipments. In the last two weeks, Indian domestic market has moved up a bit especially for Splits, Pieces and large Wholes.

During the last two weeks (end of 2013 + beginning of 2014), the range of offers has been W240 from 3.75 to 3.90, W320 from 3.30 to 3.45, W450 from 3.00 to 3.15, SW320 from 3.00 to 3.10, SW360 from 2.80 to 2.90, Butts from 2.50 to 2.55, Splits from 2.20 to 2.35 and Pieces from 1.50 to 1.60 FOB>

There was not much activity in the RCN market as traders are quoting very high prices for the limited quantities available. Range of offers was US$ 1000-1200 for West Africa (2013 crop), US$ 1250 to 1350 for Indonesia,  US$ 1200 to 1300 for Mozambique and US$ 1425-1450 for Tanzania CDJKL.
Outlook for 2014 Northern crop  (over 75% of  World production) is good so far. There is no adverse news from any origin about the weather.  It is possible that some regions may start harvesting earlier than normal – a better picture will be available by mid Feb. It will be interesting to see “on the ground“ impact of the changes in regulations in IVC (the biggest producer in Africa).
All reports indicate that there was reasonable growth in cashew usage in all markets during 2013. Roaster and retailer interest in Cashews is increasing – specially because prices are lower than other treenuts and last two years have seen prices moving in a narrow range.  It would be reasonable to expect similar stable prices and steady growth in usage during 2014 (unless there is big drop in availability). The periodic small dips and spikes are actually good for everyone – they ensure that nobody becomes complacent !!
Due to the dull kernel market (not much activity for more than 6 weeks) and the very high RCN prices (about 10% higher than the kernel parity), many processors are running out of inventory or reducing processing to make inventory last longer.  This could lead to a short period of time when some kernel grades will be difficult to get for nearby / prompt shipments.   The reduced RCN buying in the last two months could also result in a rush to buy the 2014 crop (specially if there is any large kernel buying in the next few weeks) leading to contuation of high prices.  If the kernel market continues to be quiet in Jan/Feb, there will be no  “irrational exuberance“ and RCN traders will reduce their prices for the 2013 crop to be able to replace with the 2014 crop when harvest starts.  And this will keep prices within reasonable range.
To end the first report for 2014, a quick look at the challenges for the industry – which also present opportunities. These are implementing strategies for steady growth in production, improving processing efficiencies, ensuring quality & safety, finding new uses (especially for brokens) and increasing awareness of benefits of cashew.  All this will result in sustained interest in the product + healthy growth for all links in the chain.
Best wishes to all in the very interesting and fascinating NUTS WORLD for a happy, healthy, successful 2014Regards,
Pankaj N. Sampat
Mumbai – India

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