Steady supplies keep cashew market stable

G.K. Nair Kochi | Updated on April 03, 2012 Published on April 03, 2012


The cashew market was steady last week with reasonable activities for shipments up to June.

Some business has taken place for the third quarter also. However, not much business was reported in other grades, according to trade sources in Mumbai.

Offering range remained more or less unchanged for W240 from $3.60 to $3.75; W320 from $3.20 to $3.30; W450 from $3.00 to $3.15; SW320 from $3.05 to $3.15; SW360 from $2.75 to $2.90; SSW from $2.65 to $2.80; Splits from $2.15 to $2.30; and Pieces from $1.90 to $2.05 (f.o.b).

“The fact that not much kernels have been sold in the last quarter and that West African Raw Cashew Nut (RCN) arrivals in India and Vietnam are going to be slow has the potential to create a unnatural and unwanted squeeze in kernel supplies in the next 3-4 months. Beyond that, kernel supplies should be okay provided nothing goes wrong with the crops in the next eight weeks,” Mr Pankaj N. Sampat, a Mumbai- based dealer, told Business Line.

Cashews lost significant market share in the second half of 2011 in all markets including the Asia, he said. It would be reasonable to expect that lower prices and better availability will help cashew regain some of the lost share in most markets, especially India and Asia from the second half of 2012, he said.

The trend of business for short periods for the last year and half has been reasonably good for the buyer, he said. Though the prices went up much beyond historical highs in the middle of 2011, their average cost for 2011 was not very high. And the average for the last two quarters has been much lower. Shellers have had to carry the burden for the last six months having bought bulk of the last year's crop when prices were at /close to the peaks. Things could be different in the next 6-12 months.

RCN Market steady

Tanzania RCN continues to be traded at around $1,250 a tonne but in small lots, he said. They still have a lot to sell but delay in arrivals / shipments from West Africa may provide a window for them to sell, provided kernel activity picks up. Offers from West Africa are steady at the higher levels with Benin at around $1,000; Ivory Coast (IVC) at around $875; Nigeria at around $800 a tonne (c&f).

Activity is limited because (a) arrivals are slow (b) shellers are in no hurry to buy as kernel market is quiet. But they are well prepared to enter the market if they see RCN prices come down or if they see revival of kernel activity.

Indian RCN prices are high but this does not have direct impact on export costs as exporting shellers use very small quantities of domestic RCN. However, the continued firmness in Vietnam RCN prices does affect the export costs of Vietnam shellers.

Market is very delicately poised. In the next eight weeks, things could change quickly – either way. Sudden pick up in arrivals (collection) and continued quietness in kernel market could lead to prices drifting lower to unexpected levels. Fears of crop problems such as size or quality coming true and kernel activity picking up would lead to a jump in prices. All these things are impossible to predict and could happen to varying degrees.

Overall, “we continue to feel that for the next few months will be steady around the current levels – with possibility of 5 per cent decline if kernel activity does not pick up in April/May and potential for at least 10 per cent increase in the latter part of the year,” Mr Pankaj claimed.

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Published on April 03, 2012
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