Is India consuming bulk of the cashew it produces?
Fri Dec 30 2016
India’s cashew exports continue to plummet at a time when the global cashew nut consumption is on a steady growth, with the country taking the lead in production and consumption.
India is the top consumer of cashew kernels in the world by absorbing over 25 per cent of the supply, industry sources told BusinessLine.
“Cashew nut demand has shot up 53 per cent since 2010, and almost half of the supply is eaten in India and the US,” they said.
India’s share in the world cashew nut market is at 23 per cent, while 58 per cent is now controlled by Vietnam.
“India led the production of cashews in 2015/16 with a crop of 1,72,719 tons (kernel basis), which represented 23 per cent of global production, followed by Ivory Coast (1,71,111 MT, 23 per cent) and Vietnam (1,13,095 MT, 15 per cent). Global production of cashews in 2015/16 reached 7,38,861 tons, an increase of 3 per cent from the previous season,” said a latest INC (International Nut and Dried Fruit Council) report.
In a steadily growing $30-billion global tree nut market, the cashew nut segment will continue to lead, and it is expected to account for 28.91 per cent of the market by 2021, said the report.
The walnut segment is anticipated to trail next. Asia-Pacific is the clear leader in terms of geography, accounting for 92.62 per cent of the nuts market by 2021.
However, North America is expected to lead in the seeds market, accounting for 35.15 per cent by 2021. World consumption of cashew, according to available data from the INC, was at 7,16,682 tons in 2014 as against 4,69,241 tons in 2010.
Of this, Indian consumption was at around 2.4 lakh tons, while the US absorbed around 1,50,000 tons. Meanwhile, the declining trend continues in Indian cashew exports with April-November 2016 shipments dropping 28.04 per cent to 50,267 tons valued at `2,982.72 crore, from 69,856 tons valued at `3,364.31 crore in the corresponding period last year.
Exports in November 2016 fell 38.89 per cent to 6,500 tons from 10,637 tons in the same month last year.
There has been a substantial increase of 49.36 per cent in the unit value, which shot up to `632.31/kg last month from `423.36/kg in November last year, according to S Kannan, Executive Director and Secretary, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI).
Attributing the consistent fall in exports mainly to non-receipt of parity price for the kernel, Sundaran P, Chairman, CEPCI, told BusinessLine: “The processors do not enjoy a level playing ground due to (i) high cost of production, (ii) inadequate support/incentives from the State/Central governments, (iii) high cost of funds, (iv) stagnant overseas markets due to recession and (v) competition from Vietnam and other processing countries which were traditionally suppliers of RCN (Raw Cashew Nuts) to India.”
All these factors, coupled with high RCN prices and the unattainable Standard Input Output Norms (SION) fixed by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade for the cashew sector, have resulted in the continuous decline in exports and a corresponding fall in raw material imports.
Imports of RCN have shown a sharp fall during the first eight months of 2016-17.
Total imports dropped during the period by 30 per cent to 5,69,304 tons valued at `6,109.19 crore, from 8,11,007 tons valued at `6,954.02 crore.
The average unit value has increased 25.61 per cent to `107.31 a kg from `85.75 a kg in April-November 2015.