Vietnam will face difficulties in exporting cashew products as global supply has increased, according to the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) on Monday.
Global output of raw nuts is forecast to increase by 10 percent to 15 percent this year to around 3 million tons thanks to favorable weather conditions. In Vietnam, it would increase by 15 percent-20 percent to 500,000-550,000 tons.
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) , exporters shipped 51,000 tons of processed cashew for 319 million U.S. dollars in the first quarter of this year, a year-on- year increase of 19.1 percent in volume and 21.6 percent in value.
The United States and the EU, both major markets of Vietnam's cashew products, have not imported much this year. China's demand was healthy in the first quarter, but it is likely to dry up in the second quarter due to a depreciation of the Chinese yuan and higher transportation costs.
The cashew harvest season has ended in the southeastern region, and the association urged its members to buy out the raw nuts from local farmers by the end of this month.
As for import of raw cashew for processing for export, Vinacas advised local firms to carefully consider prices and timing to avoid risks since processed-cashew prices are lower than last year.
The association unveiled a Vietnam cashew value program, to be implemented from 2014 through 2020, that targets raising the value of exports, promoting consumption both in the domestic and foreign markets, and building brands for the country's cashew products.
The 20 billion VND (947,000 U.S. dollars) program will include building national cashew brands, registering trademark to protect Vietnamese cashew products in key markets like the United States, China, and EU, and developing new products suitable for local tastes.
The association also has planned to cooperate with southern Ho Chi Minh City Nutrition Center to research and assess the nutritional benefits of cashew, and cooperate with the Global Cashew Council in its nutritional research program to promote the nutritional aspects of Vietnamese cashew globally.
Despite being the world's largest cashew exporter and having quality products, Vietnam is unable to get higher export prices due to a lack of effective marketing means and brand products.
The country is expected to pocket 1.8 billion U.S. dollars from exporting around 180,000 tons of cashew nuts in 2014. With nut shell oil and other processed products included, the export revenue will be around 2.2 billion U.S. dollars, according to Vinacas