Cashew market started moving up slowly from mid Aug and moved up sharply during
Sept. There was good demand from all markets till early Oct. Highest levels traded were W240 at 4.05 to 4.15 and W320 at 3.60 to 3.70 FOB. Market has been quiet since middle of Oct. In the last 3 weeks, prices came down a few cents from the large processors and more from the small / medium processors.
In Weeks 45 & 46, offers / trades were in the range of W240 from 3.75 to 3.95, W320 from 3.40 to 3.55, W450 from 3.30 to 3.45, SW320 from 3.35 to 3.45, Butts from 3.10 to 3.25, Splits from 2.95 to 3.05 and Pieces from 2.85 to 2.95 FOB.
RCN market moved up between Aug to mid Oct. In 2 months, prices for West Africa RCN (harvested from Mar/Apr to Jun/Jul) moved up from 1150-1250 range to 1350-1550 range. Tanzania RCN (harvest from Oct to Dec/Jan) started trading around US$ 1600 C&F. In the last 2-3 weeks, this has come down to US$ 1425-1450 C&F. Even at this lower level, there is a disparity of 15-20 cents per lb. If processors are not able to sell kernels at higher prices, they may be slow in buying RCN – this might lead to some reduction in RCN prices but reduction will not be much since availability is limited because the Southern crop is small in quantity (less than 25% of world production).
Cashew continues to be the most reasonably priced nut moving in a relatively narrow range (compared to other nuts). It would be reasonable to expect prices to remain in this range and maybe even move up a bit – depending on buyer behavior. Will they continue to buy in small tranches which will keep market steady ? Will they buy larger volumes or longer spreads which will push market up a bit ??
For the time being, many buyers seem to be waiting to see how market moves in coming weeks before buying more since they have bought some quantities during Aug/Sep and because prices have slipped from the peak. But, some are still buying part of their requirements from reliable processors (even at higher levels).
Although we cannot be sure how market will move, specially in an uncertain situation like we have now, our feeling is that cashew kernel market will remain in range of 3.40 to 3.70 for next 3-4 months (maybe more). Prices may even move up a bit more during this period. There are very little chances of any significant decline unless the next Northern Hemishpere (India, Vietnam, West Africa) crops which contribute 75% of World Production are all very good. Even then, prices may not come down until there is a smooth flow of RCN from West Africa to India and Vietnam. It is quite possible that in 2015 we will see a different range compared to the 3.25-3.50 range that we have seen for more than 2 years now.
Would appreciate your comments on market situation, views and forecast of trend for coming months and any news / information / observations on supply and demand side…. And your interest !!
Pankaj N. Sampat
Mumbai – India
Email firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com