Cashew market was very steady during Dec & Jan moving in the range of 3.75 to 3.90 for W240 and 3.30 to 3.40 for W320. In the last two weeks, some processors (in both origins) have sold at lower levels – business reported as low as 3.60 for W240 and 3.20 for W320. These lower levels are offered by very few processors – others are asking 10-20 cents higher.
During week 8, range of offers was W240 from 3.60 to 3.85, W320 from 3.20 to 3.40, W450 from 2.95 to 3.10, SW320 from 3.00 to 3.10, SW360 from 2.80 to 2.90, SSW from 2.45 to 2.55, Splits from 2.45 to 2.55, Pieces from 1.65 to 1.80 FOB.
In the last couple of months, prices for brokens have moved up by 10-20 cents a lb with very little volume being offered from Vietnam (in any case, India exports very very small quantities of brokens). Indian domestic market – for wholes and brokens – has been quiet for the last couple of weeks but there was reasonable activity during Dec/Jan. We expect domestic market to pick up activity after mid March.
Tanzania RCN has come down from a peak of 1450 C&F to 1300-1350 C&F but most of the slightly smaller crop was sold at higher levels. Availability from Mozambique is smaller than normal. Outlook for 2014 Northern crop (over 75% of World production) is good so far. There is no adverse news from any origin. The only concern – at this time – is the impact of the changes in regulations in IVC (the biggest producer in Africa). Small quantities have been shipped from Nigeria. Shipments from Benin, Ghana, IVC will start second half of March. After some trades for small quantities in Jan at high levels, offers have come down in the last two weeks – current range is Nigeria from 900 to 950 C&F / IVC from 1000 to 1050 C&F / Benin & Ghana from 1100 to 1150 C&F.
Some points to be kept in mind :
1) Several processors in India & Vietnmam reduced production from Dec due to high prices of RCN. This could lead to a temporary squeeze in kernel supplies in the next 2-3 months. And it could also lead to some processors being in a hurry to to buy when WA RCN shipments start in mid March.
2) Despite the high RCN prices and limited offers for kernels from reliable processors, there has not been any big buying interest from the major markets (USA & EU) although regular business is being done to other markets.
3) On the other hand, despite the lack of any big buying interest, large processors are not showing interest to reduce offers to get some sales before the new crops start because there is uncertainty about the RCN prices.
4) Although RCN prices have come down in the last couple of weeks, there is still a 15 to 20 cents disparity between current RCN and current kernel prices.
5) Following a reasonable growth in usage in all markets in 2013, there are signs that usage will be good during 2014 as well due to the high prices of other nuts and relative stability of cashew prices at the lower end of range of last few years.
Our feeling is that the market may see some volatility between now & May 2014 depending on new (and rumours!) about the crop progress and RCN price movements – after that it should stabilise and move in a narrow range for rest of the year – that range will depend on what prices are paid for West African RCN during Mar/Apr/May.
If the RCN prices come down a bit, kernel prices will remain in the current range – if RCN prices come down significantly, kernel prices could come down a bit from the current range.
If there is any strong kernel demand from USA and / or EU during Mar/Apr, the RCN
prices will not come down and will remain firm.
Chances of RCN prices coming down significantly are limited and processors will not take the risk of selling forwards at lower levels in the hope of that happening.
We can reasonably expect the next 2-3 months to be interesting in the sense that we will see surges of activity and spikes / dips in prices but overall, there is nothing on the horizon to warrant big movements (on either side). The periodic dips and spikes will ensure that nobody becomes complacent !!
Please inform your feedback, comments and views / forecast on demand and market trend…. and interest.
Pankaj N. Sampat
Mumbai – India
Phone +91 22 64564300
Fax +91 22 26462346
Email firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com