In the 11 months to end of February, India's cashew kernel exports stood at 93,029 tonnes, a fall of 23.5 per cent compared to same time last year.
Overall exports in 2012-13 could be 18-20 per cent lower than in 2011-12, when India exported 1,31,760 tonnes of cashew kernels, valued at Rs 4,391 crore (this was 24.6 per cent higher than in 2010-11).
Official data for 2012-13 is being compiled by the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India.
"The fall in consumption across the European Union and the US, key markets for Indian cashew, and consolidation of Vietnam in the global cashew trade have hit India's exports. Also, India's kernel prices are higher compared to Vietnam, owing to higher production costs in India," Pankaj Sampath of Mumbai-based Samsons Traders told Business Standard.
Vietnam has been pushing its kernels at prices lower than India's. The cost of processing in India was 20-30 per cent higher compared to that in Vietnam, as the Indian processing industry largely depended on imported raw nuts, Sampath said. India imports about half its raw cashew requirement. Between April 2012 and February 2013, India imported 8,52,674 tonnes of raw cashew nuts; domestic production during this period was estimated at 5,00,000 tonnes, Sampath said.
In dollar terms, exports in April-February 2012-13 were worth $668 million, against $841 million the season before, a decline of 20.5 per cent.