Cashew prices are about to go nuts

By Ha Phuong   November 8, 2016 | 12:18 am PT
Prices of raw nuts hit a 10-year high in October as demand surged.

Demand for cashew nuts has skyrocketed over 50 percent since 2010, industry data showed. Meanwhile, the worst drought in a century in Vietnam, the largest exporter, has raised concerns over supply shortages.

As of October 30, prices of raw nuts in Vietnam jumped to VND52,000 ($2.33) per kilogram, the highest in the past decade, compared to VND38,000 early this year, according to the country's cashew association.

Average export prices also surged 20 percent between January and August, reaching $8,000 per ton.

Excessive heat and low rainfall linked to the El Niño weather phenomenon in the main grower countries, including Vietnam, have affected both the quality and quantity of the crops, which could lead to shortages next year.

Vietnam has lost a fifth of its harvest so far, causing domestic prices to rally. “Cashew nut consumers may face hefty price rises through next year due to adverse weather,” according to the Vietnam Cashew Association.

Vietnamese cashew nuts have won the heart of consumers around the world, mostly those in the U.S., the Netherlands and China.

In the first nine months, Vietnam exported over 280,000 tons, up 6 percent from the year-ago period, raking in over $2 billion, customs data showed.

The cashew association expected that by the end of this year, exports will reach an all-time high of $2.7 billion, surpassing last year’s record of $2.4 billion, keeping Vietnam on top.

Source: Vietnam Customs

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