India’s cashew exports could drop to an over two-decade low this financial 12 months as traders maintain to head gradual on shipments because of falling prices in overseas markets.
Processor exporters—who depend upon imported nuts for over 60% of their requirement—are saddled with uncooked nuts offered at excessive expenses and are loath to export the prepared merchandise as charges in worldwide marketplace have dropped. “Exporters are saddled with uncooked nuts bought at high charges which they are processing and exporting underneath.
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 1,788cr.
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.