A relatively quiet cashew market, a good looking crop and incredibly high shipping costs from Vietnam are the highlights of this new year’s cashew report. With the recently received import and export figures for December from Vinacas, this report gives a quick recap of the numbers compared to last year and our overview of the current market situation.
Figures from Vietnam
Vietnam imported a total of 190,514 mt RCN in December, which is 33.98% more than last year during the same period. It brings the total imports for 2020 at 1,735,936 mt RCN. In 2020, the imports remained lower than 2019 until October, but in November and December the trend reversed and the total imports this year reached 3.51% more than in 2019. Nevertheless, the turnover is 8.31% lower than in 2019.
On top of that, Vietnam imported 6,795 mt of raw cashew kernels with Testa and white kernels which makes the total for this year at 58,204 mt, the equivalent of 258,684 mt RCN.
Vietnam exported 52,676 mt of cashew kernels in December 2020. It is 27.27% more in comparison to December 2019. In 2020, Vietnam exported 13.48% more than in 2019. Despite the pandemic crisis, a total of 521,419 mt of cashew kernels were exported.
To the USA, Vietnam shipped 12,532 mt in December, 12.96% more than last year.
In 2020, the exports to the USA increased by 9.72% to 148,125 mt.
7,717 mt were exported to China in December. That is 1.22% less than last year. 2020 was marked by a certain irregularity in volume exported to China. During the first phase of the pandemic, and because of the lockdowns in China, the exports reduced considerably. From September to November, exports started again, but in December, volumes returned to a comparable level with last year.
In total, in 2020, 62,302 mt have been exported to China; 7.28% less than in 2019.
EU & Others
In 2020, exports to Europe & Others increased by 20.87%, reaching 310,992 mt. In December, the volume shipped was 44.24% higher than the same period last year. 32,426 mt were exported in December.
In terms of distribution in 2020, exports to the EU & Others, represented 4 more points meanwhile exports to the US and China respectively lost 1 and 3 points (see below graphs). This means that the share of cashew kernels exported from Vietnam to the EU & Others increased in 2020.
The cashew market is relatively quiet with prices in origins looking somewhat friendlier again, which is due to the fact that crops in the various production countries are looking to be in good shape. Harvesting is about to start in India and in a few weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia as well, and our Vietnamese colleagues checked with some farmers what they expect of the upcoming crop (watch our video where they mention it). Their response was a promising one: they expect better yields in comparison to last year. From market participants in the various countries in West Africa, we hear similar reports. Crops are looking promising, and weather permitting productions will be good.
On the buying side, it remains very quiet. Roasters in the EU, as well as the USA, are well covered for the nearby position (1st 3-6 months 2021). January is usually a slow month when it comes to buying interest from manufacturers, and with relatively good coverage and good reports about the next crops, buyers are in a wait-and-see mode. There is some buying interest in the market for 3rd and 4th quarter 2021 but one of the issues, which is really frustrating the calculation process, is what to calculate for shipping costs. Like last month, shipping costs from Ho Chi Minh City are still incredibly high and causing severe consequences on the trade.
Just for good order’s sake, we want to point out that due to TET (Chinese New Year 12th February) festivities, many Vietnamese processors will close their factories from the first week of February until the third week of February. The number of actual working days in February will therefore be limited, which can impact the total quantity of kernels being exported that particular month.
We wish everybody a Happy New Year! Please stay safe.