Cashew sec­tor to fo­cus on adding value this year “

Viet Nam News - - BUSI­NESS -

HCM CITY — Vieät Nam’s cashew sec­tor tar­gets ex­ports of 350,000 tonnes this year, more than 10 per cent lower than last year, ac­cord­ing to the Vieät Nam Cashew As­so­ci­a­tion (Vinacas).

This year it plans to fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing highly pro­cessed prod­ucts and ex­port­ing prod­ucts with high value-ad­di­tion, it said.

Ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments tabled at a sem­i­nar in HCM City yes­ter­day to re­view the per­for­mance of the cashew sec­tor last year and set tasks for this year, the do­mes­tic sup­ply of raw cashew was in­ad­e­quate. Mean­while, the prices of im­ports were too high and their qual­ity was some­times poor.

There­fore the sec­tor will not in­crease ex­ports but fo­cus on rais­ing prod­uct qual­ity and pro­mote its prod­ucts in the do­mes­tic mar­ket.

Last year it pro­cessed 1.65 mil­lion tonnes of raw cashew and ex­ported 391,000 tonnes for US$3.5 bil­lion, an in­crease of 7.8 per cent in vol­ume but a slight fall in value from the pre­vi­ous year.

Speak­ing at the sem­i­nar, Nguyeãn Minh Hoïa, deputy chair­man of Vinacas, said: “Vieät Nam was still the world’s largest cashew pro­ces­sor and ex­porter last year, but it was not a good year for Viet­namese cashew ex­porters since many of them in­curred losses, some even went bank­rupt.”

The price of raw cashew in­creased sharply last year while the ex­port prices of the pro­cessed nut de­creased sharply, he said.

Phaïm Vaên Coâng, Vinacas chair­man, said since the be­gin­ning of the crop last year the as­so­ci­a­tion had been warn­ing com­pa­nies to be care­ful in im­port­ing raw cashew be­cause prices were very high. How­ever, many com­pa­nies, fear­ing a short­fall, bought large vol­umes.

Sub­se­quently prices dropped sharply, caus­ing them to in­cur big losses, he ex­plained.

Vieät Nam has around 300,000 hectares un­der cashew and an av­er­age out­put of 350,000-400,000 tonnes a year, meet­ing only 25-30 per cent of pro­ces­sors’ de­mand.

Thus they have to im­port over 1 mil­lion tonnes of raw cashew every year from many coun­tries, mainly in Africa, he said.

To avoid risks this year, Hoïa said they should keep a close eye on the mar­ket sit­u­a­tion and do not im­port large vol­umes at the be­gin­ning of the year when the har­vest sea­son be­gins.

“Raw cashew is now avail­able around the year.

“Based on les­son learned from last year, firms should change their busi­ness plan so as to do bet­ter this year.”

Vuõ Thaùi Sôn, gen­eral di­rec­tor of Long Sôn JSC, one of the coun­try’s big­gest cashew ex­porters, con­curred, say­ing the ma­jor sup­ply­ing coun­tries have very large raw cashew stock.

“We are not wor­ried about lack of raw cashew nuts.”

Firms should not buy raw ma­te­rial in large quan­ti­ties at the same time, he said.

But with sup­ply be­ing higher than de­mand, prices of pro­cessed nuts are un­likely to in­crease this year, he said.

Sôn said in­ter­na­tional roast­ers and traders ex­pect pro­cessed cashew prices to fall and so do not sign long-term con­tracts with ex­porters.

“We had many long-term con­tracts in pre­vi­ous years, but the num­ber of long-term con­tracts this year is very few.”

With them only sign­ing con­tracts for two to three months, Viet­namese firms should do the same for buy­ing raw cashew, he said.

Other speak­ers also sug­gested that busi­nesses should be cau­tious when trans­fer­ring money to sell­ers’ for buy­ing raw ma­te­ri­als be­cause the banks could set them off against sell­ers’ loans.

Ñaëng Hoaøng Giang, an­other Vinacas deputy chair­man, said the as­so­ci­a­tion would or­gan­ise an in­ter­na­tional cashew con­fer­ence in Hueá next March and a busi­ness trip to study West Asian mar­kets next June to pro­mote Vieät Nam’s cashew prod­ucts. — VNS

Vieät Nam was still the world’s largest cashew pro­ces­sor and ex­porter last year, but it was not a good year for Viet­namese cashew ex­porters since many of them in­curred losses, some even went bank­rupt.”

NGUYEÃN MINH HOÏA, DEPUTY CHAIR­MAN OF VINACAS

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