Conference seeks to redefine global cashew supply chain

28/02/2024 10:04 - 28 Views

The 13th Vinacas Golden Cashew Rendezvous in Đồng Hới City to discuss ongoing industry issues and new ways ahead for the global cashew industry has attracted more than 370 delegates from 40 countries and territories.

Organised by the Việt Nam Cashew Association (VINACAS) and the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, the two-day conference starting on February 27, part of a national trade promotion programme, also seeks to promote cashew trade and expand markets.

Phạm Văn Công, chairman of VINACAS, said the global cashew industry, including Việt Nam’s, experienced difficulties last year from geopolitical crises, monetary tightening by central banks, inflation, lower demand in key markets, and consumers tightening their purse strings.

But Việt Nam managed to export 645,300 tonnes of cashew kernels for US$3.58 billion last year, increases of 24.3 per cent and 19 per cent.

Prices fell to a low level by the end 2023 after significantly dropping in previous years, he said.

The price of raw cashew also went down, but the decrease was minor compared to the fall in processed cashew prices though the former’s output increased sharply.

He attributed it to processors rushing to buy raw cashew at the beginning of the harvest season, and some major production countries setting minimum export prices or imposing taxes and fees on exports of the product.

He said that the fact the raw material prices were higher than those of processed items made most Vietnamese processors and exporters suffer losses or barely break even.

Some even had to temporarily stop operations, and the risk of mass closures was real, he warned.

“Việt Nam is the centre of the global cashew supply chain because it imports nearly 65 per cent of the world's raw cashew and accounts for nearly 80 per cent of processed cashew exports.

“So, if many processing factories close down, the global supply chain will be broken leading to a shortage of cashew products and a surplus of raw cashew.

“This will cause damage to the entire cashew supply chain and lead to consequences, the most serious risk being that farmers in many countries will neglect cashew trees. That will greatly affect the global cashew supply chain in the long run.”

He urged the delegates at the conference to propose solutions and initiatives to reshape the supply chain to help the industry develop steadily and sustainably.

Michael Waring, chairman of the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council, said overall nut production saw an upward trend last decade though the logistics and macroeconomic disruption seemed to slow down growth.

"Today’s global cashew crop is 65 per cent up from 10 years ago and cashew is the second most produced tree nut in the world.

“After the 2022 shipping crisis demand appeared to have recovered slightly in 2023. It remains to be seen how the Red Sea, Panama Canal and other supply chain disruptions will impact 2024.”

“The industry needs to come together as a whole to increase consumption,” he added.

Suy KokThean, vice president of the Cashew Nut Association of Cambodia, said the global cashew market size topped $7 billion in 2022 and was expected to reach $10.5 billion by 2031.

But he cautioned against potential risks caused by geopolitical tensions, climate change, market volatility, and evolving consumer preferences, saying: “It is crucial for stakeholders to adapt and innovate to ensure the resilience and sustainability of the nut and cashew industry.

“This may involve a combination of policy interventions, technological advancements, and strategic partnerships to address challenges and capitalise on growth opportunities.”

Speakers at the event said cashew is highly nutritious, containing protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins, and enhancing communication about its benefits was needed to encourage its consumption.

Representatives of the Ivory Coast Cashew and Cotton Council, the Africa Cashew Alliance and the Cambodia Nut Cashew Association, all major suppliers of raw cashew to Việt Nam, expressed the desire to enhance cooperation with VINACAS to improve the value chain of both sides.

VINACAS and the Cashew Exporters Association of Ivory Coast, signed an agreement to develop both countries’ cashew industries. 

Source:Viet Nam News

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