Vietnam Cashew Producers Association (Vinacas) members are striving to cope with
declining prices on the world market and a shortage of domestic supply.
Vinacas’s 72 members have a combined annual capacity of 250,000 tonnes of raw
cashew but local supplies can only meet 60-70%of their needs although the area
under cashew cultivation has been expanded to 250,000 hectares, said association
chairman Ho Ngoc Cam. “The lack of raw cashew is the result of low productivity
of only 7-8 tonnes per hectare,” Cam said at a review meeting in the resort city
of Da Lat on Saturday.
Low export prices also worry exporters, Cam said.
“Last year’s export prices declined by 40% on 2000 to a record-low level since
the country began exporting cashew nuts ten year ago,” Cam said, “This is also
the first time Vietnam’s cashew nuts are higher-priced than those of India in
Last year the sector bought 140,000 tonnes of raw cashew from farmers and
imported 40,000 tonnes from Africa and Indonesia. “Vinacas processed 170,000
tonnes of raw cashew and exported 38,000 tonnes of cashew nuts with a revenue of
US$135 million, US$15 million lower than 2000,” Ho Ngoc Cam said.
The country is expanding its share in major markets with last year’s exports to
the US accounting for 35% of revenue, up 6% on 2000, Australia 12% and China
40%. Vinacas also has new clients such as Israel, Saudi Arabica and Russia.
“This year’s target is to buy 150,000 tonnes of domestic raw cashew and import
50,000 tonnes, and export 42,000 tonnes of cashew nuts earning revenue of US$150
million, up 11.5% on last year,” Vinacas vice chairman Nguyen Thai Hoc said. “Of
this, the US will account for 40%, China 40% and Europe 15%”.