In­dia to brand its cashew bet­ter as ex­ports fall

Business a.m. - - COMMODITIES & AGRICULTURE -

AS IN­DIA’S CA SHEW ex­port heads for one of the worst falls in re­cent times, the in­dus­try is plan­ning a brand­ing ex­er­cise to pro­mote In­dian cashew.

The data of Cashew Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil of In­dia(CEPCI) shows about 32 per cent de­cline in ship­ments in the six months to Sep­tem­ber in 2018-19 from a year ago at 30,805 tonnes. The rev­enue is also down by 32 per cent at Rs 2,135 crore for the pe­riod de­spite a marginal in­crease in unit value.

In­dian cashew has lost its dom­i­nance in the US, hith­erto its big­gest mar­ket, to Viet­nam, which has been able to in­crease its share by sell­ing at lower prices. “Viet­nam now ac­counts for 76 per cent of the cashew im­ports to the US, where In­dia was the ma­jor sup­plier,’’ said RK Bhoodes, chair­man of CEPCI.

Viet­nam cuts cost by em­ploy­ing ex­ten­sive mech­a­ni­sa­tion. “Viet­nam sells 20 cents per pound less than In­dian rates. But in terms of qual­ity, the In­dian nuts are su­pe­rior,’’ Bhoodes ex­plained.

The cashew in­dus­try is plan­ning to pro­mote In­dian brand of cashew at premium level to re­vive In­dian cashew’s ear­lier glory in the US mar­ket. “We are look­ing at emo­tional con­nect in mar­ket­ing with tags like ‘If you buy In­dian cashew you will sup­port 1 mil­lion work­ers,’’ he said.

CEPCI will place this sug­ges­tion at the global cashew sum­mit in In­dia to be held in Fe­bru­ary along with other de­mands such as fi­nan­cial sup­port for the in­dus­try as ris­ing cost of pro­duc­tion has forced clo­sure of many pro­cess­ing fac­to­ries in Ker­ala and mea­sures to con­trol dump­ing of im­ported cashew ker­nels in the In­dian mar­ket which is cur­rently the largest con­sumer of cashew.

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