Overview of Vietnam cashew nuts industry
Vietnam has maintained its position as the world’s largest producer and exporter of cashew nuts in 2020, exporting an estimated 450,000 tonnes of cashew kernels worth 3.2 billion USD, according to the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas).
The information was revealed by the association at a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on November 23 to mark its 30th founding anniversary.
This year, Vietnam also remains the world’s biggest importer of raw cashew nuts, purchasing about 1.3 million tonnes from overseas.
Data by Vinacas shows that Vietnam began to ship cashew kernels abroad in 1990 after the association was founded. The country exported 286 tonnes of cashew kernels for 1.4 million USD that year. In 2004, the volume increased to 105,000 tonnes, worth approximately 436 million USD.
In 2006, Vietnam surpassed India for the first time as the world’s top exporter of cashew kernels, with an export volume of 127,000 tonnes worth 504 million USD.
Since 2017, Vietnam has retained its position as the world’s biggest hub for cashew processing and the largest exporter and importer of the product, accounting for over 50 percent of the global processed cashew nuts.
The industry has been hit by COVID-19 since the beginning of this year. Though cashew kernel exports reached more than 422,000 tonnes in the first 10 months of 2020, a year-on-year increase of 12 percent, the 10-month revenue dropped 3 percent to over 2.6 billion USD.
Although holding the title of “the world’s No 1 exporter”, Vietnam has still mainly exported semi-processed cashew nuts, which are sold at an average price of 10 USD per kilogramme, while finished products sold at supermarkets globally cost about 30 USD per kilogramme.
Vinacas Vice Chairman Nguyen Minh Hoa said the sector has been under enormous pressure from new policies of major suppliers and importers. African countries, which have been key suppliers of raw cashew nuts to Vietnam for years, are boosting the development of their domestic cashew processing industry, he said.
India, one of the world’s largest cashew nut consumption markets, is applying a tax policy to limit the amount of imported cashew nuts, mainly from Vietnam, he continued, adding that other key buyers such as the US and EU are also setting out additional food safety standards on cashew kernels from Vietnam.
Vinacas Chairman Pham Van Cong said these provide Vietnam with not only challenges but also opportunities which would encourage domestic manufacturers to restructure, upgrade technology and improve management capacity to climb up the global supply chain of cashew nuts.
It is important to develop a proper strategy for the cashew sector that facilitates shift from preliminary processing to production of final products sold in supermarkets, he said.
Cong further noted that Vinacas is formulating a strategy for the development of Vietnam’s cashew industry in the new context, to be proposed to the government in the near future.
The United States is a large cashew nut consumption market of Vietnam. The cashew nut market in North America (mainly the United States) is forecasted to grow at an average rate of 4.3 percent per year in the period 2020 - 2025. Therefore, the potential for Vietnam to export cashew nuts to the U.S is forecasted to be huge.
Vietnam's cashew nut exports to France skyrocketed in the first months of this year, thereby strongly increasing its market share in the potential market.
According the International Trade Center, in the first quarter of 2021 cashew nuts import into France reached 4,200 tonnes, worth US$ 32.97 million, soaring by 20.5% in volume and 12% in value compared to the same period in 2020.
During the same period, France reduced cashew nut imports from many suppliers but increased dramatically the imports from Vietnam, Netherland. Particularly, France imported 2,930 tonnes of cashew nuts from Vietnam, valued at nearly US$ 22 million, rising by 42.4% in volume and 28% in value over the same period last year.
Vietnam's cashew nuts made up 63.35% market share in France in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 58.70% in the same period last year.
France is considered as a potential market for Vietnam's cashew nuts. Demand for cashew nuts in this market is projected to grow in the coming time. Cashew nuts are a popular snack in France and more and more used as an ingredient in nut-based beverages such as no added sugar cashew milk or snack.
Vietnam’s cashew nuts have already accounted for the largest market share in Russia. Thanks to Russia’s increasing demand for the nut, Vietnam‘s cashew market share in this market continues to rise.
According to Russia’s Customs Service, in the first six months of 2021, the country increased cashew imports from Vietnam, Belarus while reducing imports from other suppliers.
During this period, Russia imported 4,870 tons of cashew nuts from Vietnam worth US$27 million, up 72% in volume and 29.2% in value compare to the same period in 2020.
Vietnam’s cashew nut market share in Russia’s total import rose from 50.28% in the first six months of 2020 to 57.68% in the same period in 2021.
Despite facing the competition from Belarus, Vietnam’s cashew industry has confirmed its position as the No.1 supplier of cashew nuts in Russian market thanks to stable supply and guaranteed quality.
Russia’s demand for cashew nuts tends to rise. In the first 6 months of 2021, Russia imported 8,450 tons of cashew nuts worth US$31.4 million, up 50% in volume, and 22.3% in value over the same period last year.
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Source: Vietnam Plus