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Wednesday, Aug 11, 2004

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Q1 cashew exports up

G.K. Nair

Kochi , Aug. 10

CASHEW kernels exports have increased by Rs 150 crore on rising demand and prices during the first quarter of this fiscal to Rs 542.33 crore.

In terms of volume, there has been an increase of 7,666 tonnes to 28,857 tonnes from 21,191 tonnes during the same period last year.

A slight pick up in demand coupled with a reported default by Vietnamese exporters was attributed to the increase in the exports, said Mr K. Sasi Varma, Secretary, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPC).

He said there had been an increase in the unit value from April onwards. During the first quarter of this year, the average unit value was Rs 187.97 a kg against Rs 185.1in the same period last year. However, it has gone up in the subsequent weeks and currently the unit value was ruling at around Rs 235 a kg.

"If this trend continues, the exports during the current fiscal could see a 15 per cent increase over the previous year," he said.

In 2003-04, the exports stood at 1,00,828 tonnes of cashew kernels valued at Rs 1,804 crore against 1,04,137 tonnes worth Rs 1,933 crore in the previous year, he said.

Prices of cashew kernels, which had been at low levels last year, had gone up in the international market on increased consumption in recent months, industry sources at Kollam said. From April onwards, they said, there has been an upward trend and the prices of superior grade W-320 have gone up to Rs 230-235 a kg from around Rs 190 last year. Nut consumption in the US had gone up in recent months, "as there is a perception among the consumers that it was a healthy nut," they said.

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