Cashew market continued to be steady during April with a slight softening in
prices of W240 & W320 at the lower end of the range (for nearbys from some processors). Prices were steady at the higher end of the range for forward positions. There were reasonable sales to many markets at both ends of the range. There was some pick up in offtake in the Indian market but not much increase in prices.
During Weeks 16 and 17, range of prices was W240 from 3.50 to 3.70, W320 from 3.10 to 3.30, W450 from 2.90 to 3.00, SW320 from 2.95 to 3.05, SW360 from 2.75 to 2.85, Butts around 2.60, Splits from 2.40 to 2.50 and Pieces from 1.55 to 1.75 FOB. There are very few offers of brokens at lower end of the range.
After some firmness during March, there was some decline in RCN prices during April but despite that, new trades have been limited as kernel market has been slow. Current RCN prices (for shipment) are IVC between 925 to 950 C&F, Ghana around 1000 C&F, Benin around 1025 C&F, SEGABI around 1100 C&F. Afloat parcels and small lots arrived in India & Vietnam (origin IVC, Benin, Ghana) are trading at premium of 50-100 dollars, depending on origin and quality. Unless kernel prices move up or at least kernel demand picks up, shellers will find it difficult to continue buying RCN. Kernel availability in Jul/Aug could be lower if RCN buying continues to be slow in May.
Current prices are the lowest in the last 4 years and below the average of the last 2 years. These low prices are made more attractive because prices of other nuts are higher than Cashews (and higher than their respective recent average). Despite this, very few buyers are buying larger volumes for longer spreads. Most of them continue to buy for few months at a time. This strategy has worked well for them as there have been no supply issues during the last 2 years. Shellers are not too unhappy either as risks are lower (although chances of large profits are also reduced).
Compared with same time in 2013, RCN prices are more than 15% higher and kernel prices are more than 5% lower. Disparity between RCN and kernel prices has been continuing for more than 6 consecutive months. This cannot be sustained. Something has to change – either RCN prices have to come down significantly to last year’s levels or kernel prices have to move up a little – at least to the range of 3.25 to 3.50 FOB seen in the first half of 2013.
The next 4-8 weeks should be interesting – in the meantime, it would be prudent for both sellers and buyers to cover a portion of their position for the next 6 months to avoid being caught on the wrong foot in case something unexpected happens.
We would appreciate your comments on market situation, views on trend + likely developments, any special information… and your interest.
Pankaj N. Sampat
Mumbai – India
Phone +91 22 64564300
Fax +91 22 26462346
Email firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com