Cashew exporters have $3.8b target for this year

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2022 08:30

Viet Nam’s cashew industry targets to achieve US$3.8 billion from export this year. — VNA/VNS Photo

The cashew export target this year is US$3.8 billion, only slightly up from 2021, according to the Viet Nam Cashew Association.

Speaking at the 10th congress of the association (Vinacas) in HCM City on February 26, Pham Van Cong, its chairman, said the focus is on keeping the cashew cultivation area unchanged while improving quality and value.

Despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, exports topped $3.66 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 14 per cent and higher than the exports of any other farm produce like cashew, fruits and vegetables, rice, coffee, or pepper.

Viet Nam accounted for a whopping 80 per cent of the entire global cashew exports.

The exports went to over 100 countries and territories, with the US, China, the Netherlands, and Germany being the largest markets.

But Viet Nam remains a big importer of raw cashew to process for exports since domestic supply is inadequate, he said.

Viet Nam has around 300,000 hectares under cashew and an average annual output of 370,000 tonnes a year, or just 25-30 per cent of local processors’ demand.

Last year enterprises imported 3.1 million tonnes of raw cashew from many countries, mostly in Africa but also Cambodia, an 81.4 per cent increase over 2020.

This year around two million tonnes are expected to be imported.

Ta Quang Huyen, chairman of Binh Phuoc Province-based Hoang Son 1 Company and Vinacas’ deputy chairman, said global demand for cashew nut would continue to increase by 8-10 per cent per year in the coming years.

But with supply being higher than demand, prices are unlikely to increase this year, he said.

Vu Ba Phu, director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, said: “The cashew market will continue to be good for the next 10 years. Enterprises need to focus more on promoting their products in large markets such as the US and EU and those that have free trade agreements with Viet Nam.”

Demand in the EU, which accounts for 40 per cent of the world’s total, is expected to grow by 5 per cent a year, and Vietnamese exporters have an advantage there thanks to the EU-Vietnam FTA, he said.

He called on enterprises to focus more on raising product quality and meeting requirements in terms of corporate social responsibility and food safety and hygiene in importing countries.

Vinacas chairman Nguyen Minh Hoa said African countries are increasing their own exports of processed cashew to Europe thanks to their geographical advantage, resulting in increased competition.

Huyen said: “We don’t know when the Russia-Ukraine war will come to an end. If it prolongs, all industries will be badly affected.”

Phu said to sustain its position in the world market Viet Nam's cashew industry needs to control the quality of inputs, keep abreast of market information and consumption trends, enhance linkages between stakeholders, invest more in processing, building brands, and developing products with higher added value.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan told the congress the cashew industry needs to change its thinking to cope with current challenges and difficulties and enhance added value.

Raising value by increasing productivity and output is old, and adding value by extensive processing is no longer new, and the industry needs creative thinking such as creating stories for their products that evoke emotions in consumers.

The congress chose the association’s 17-strong executive committee, with Cong re-elected as chairman until 2026. — VNS

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