Global rally aids Indian cashew export sector amid recession

Written by Commodities Bureau | Kochi | Updated: Jan 15 2009, 04:26am hrs
A rally in global cashew prices due to supply shortage has helped Indian cashew exports record a value increase of 36% in the first three quarters of the current fiscal, 2008-09. When compared to the figures of the first three quarters of last fiscal (2007-08), exports have declined by 4% in volume, while managing an increase in total revenue.

A shortage in supply has also translated into higher input cost for the Indian processing industry, which imports substantial volume of raw cashew. The unit value of imported raw cashew increased by 68% during the April-December period in 2008, when compared to the figures of the April-December period of 2007.

Interestingly, the export of cashew has slowed down considerably in the last three months due to the impact of the global recession. Trade experts see exports coming down further with recession-affected households turning value- conscious. Exports fell by 16% (in volume) in December 2008 when compared to exports of December 2007. Exports during November fell by 14% in volume terms and during October it dropped by 20%. The inventories of major US and European buyers are minimal and demand should have been good in normal circumstances, sources said. Lesser demand coupled with the higher cost of importing raw cashew has put Indian exporters in an adverse situation.

According to figures of the Cashew Export Promotion Council, about 82,921 tonne of cashew valued at Rs 2,283.83 crore during the first nine months of the current fiscal as against 86,312 tonne valued at Rs 1,671.95 crore during April-December in 2007-08.