Agri Business

Firm trend continues in cashew market

G. K. Nair Kochi | Updated on March 02, 2011

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Cashew kernel market continued to rule quiet last week. Price range widened as some processors, mainly from Vietnam, sold at lower levels. Business was reported for W240 from $4.25 to $4.35 and for W320 from $3.70 to $3.85 (f.o.b). Brokens were in short supply and prices moved up to over $3.30 for Splits and over $3.10 (f.o.b) for LP.

Indian domestic market continued to be quiet but still was above

international prices. No change was seen in raw cashewnut (RCN) situation. Arrivals in India and Vietnam are very slow and prices are high. Until arrivals pick up, which may be late March, prices are unlikely to ease. Some trades for Nigeria were done at around $1,225 and Benin at around $1,550 a tonnes (c&f).

February has been a quiet month in the kernel market, which is not unusual, but considering that everyone has been working on low inventories, it has been quieter than expected, Mr Pankaj N Sampat, a Mumbai-based dealer told Business Line. During March, “we should get some indications about offtake in the major importing countries. If this is not as bad as expected, buyers will need to buy to replenish cover for mid year requirements and this will provide support to the market around current levels. If the quietness continues through March, it might mean that kernel prices may drift lower which might lead to lower RCN prices from April, especially if there normalcy is restored in Ivory Coast,” he said.

Unless supply situation eases and RCN prices come down, shellers will not be able to reduce their selling price ideas – they would rather reduce volumes than operate with disparity between RCN and kernel prices.

Another important factor to watch is Asian demand, he said. “If the trend of reasonable volumes being traded every few weeks for nearbys continues, the market will be supported at current levels till middle of the year”.

It seems that March-April will determine trend of cashew prices for the rest of the year. If there is reasonable kernel demand in this period or if the Ivory Coast situation is not resolved in this period, there is little chance of any price decline, traders said.

The unprecedented uncertainty on supply and demand is paralysing everyone in the chain. There is very little cushion to absorb any sudden movements on either side. It seems that uncertainty will continue for few weeks more. This points to increased volatility in the short term, they said.

Published on March 01, 2011

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