India’s cashew exports could drop to an over two-decade low this fiscal year as traders continue to go slow on shipments due to falling prices in overseas markets.
Processor exporters - who depend on imported nuts for over 60% of their requirement - are saddled with raw nuts bought at high prices and are reluctant to export the ready products as rates in global market have dropped.
Last year, India exported 84,352 tonnes of cashew valued at Rs 5,871 crore. According to industry executives, the export quantity this year is expected to fall below 70,000 tonnes, a level seen almost 25 years ago.
For the five months ended August 2018, exports showed a 34% slide from a year ago to 25,765 tonnes. In value terms, the drop was 33% from the year-ago period to Rs 1,788 crore.
Cashew kernel prices dropped over $1 this year to $3.50-3.60/pound, industry sources said.
2018-19 is turning out to be a tough one for Indian cashew trade, with exporters having little choice but to sell kernels processed out of expensive imported raw nuts at lower prices.