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Cashew exports may fall to 25-year low

According to industry executives, the export quantity this year is expected to fall below 70,000 tonnes, a level seen almost 25 years ago.

, ET Bureau|
Nov 09, 2018, 09.57 AM IST
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Cashew exports could drop to an over two-decade low this fiscal year as traders continue to go slow on shipments due to falling prices in overseas markets.
India’s cashew exports could drop to an over two-decade low this fiscal year as traders continue to go slow on shipments due to falling prices in overseas markets.

Processor exporters—who depend on imported nuts for over 60% of their requirement—are saddled with raw nuts bought at high prices and are loath to export the ready products as rates in global market have dropped. “Exporters are saddled with raw nuts purchased at high prices which they are processing and exporting under contractual obligations. They can make profit only if the prices touch $5 per pound,’’ said P Sundaran, MD, Sreelakshmi Cashew Company. Last year, India exported 84,352 tonnes of cashew valued at Rs 5,871 crore. According to industry executives, the export quantity this year is expected to fall below 70,000 tonnes, a level seen almost 25 years ago. For the five months ended August 2018, exports showed a 34% slide from a year ago to 25,765 tonnes. In value terms, the drop was 33% from the year-ago period to Rs 1,788 crore.

2018-19 is turning out to be a tough one for Indian cashew trade, with exporters having little choice but to sell kernels processed out of expensive imported raw nuts at lower prices. “Cashew kernel prices dropped over $1 this year to $3.50-3.60/pound. The exporters are booking losses,” said K Prakash Rao, managing partner of Kalbavi Cashews.

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