KOCHI: The steep price of imported raw nuts continues to be a worry for cashew exporters. Many factories that downed shutters due to the cash crunch following demonetisation, have gradually resumed operations. But they have been hampered by costly imported raw nuts and an appreciating rupee.
“At $4.5 to 4.7 per pound (Rs 650-680/kg), the export price of cashew kernels is not at par with the price of imported raw nuts what is averaging around $2,000 per tonne,” said Pankaj N Sampat, director of Mumbai-based Samson Traders.
Cashew kernel prices which had risen to $4.90 per pound dropped to $4.50 at the time of demonetisation. But it improved slightly in January 2017 which helped boost exports.
Cashew kernel exports at 8,680 tonnes valued at Rs 586 crore in January is up 17% in quantity and 46% in value from a year ago.
This jump has pulled down overall decline in shipments during the fiscal. The ten-month exports ended Jan 2017 stood at 70,0049 tonnes valued at Rs 4,326 crore. This showed a 14% fall in quantity.
At the same time, value witnessed a 4% rise. Till November last year, quantity had fallen 28% from a year earlier. Although the price of raw nuts from Tanzania and Indonesia earlier were higher, the quality was superior.
“Now the quality of raw nuts from west African countries is not that good. This reflects on kernels processed from them,” said P Sundaran, chairman, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India.