15.05.2021, 11:35

Vietnamese cashew industry sees trade deficit for the first time

The Agro Processing and Market Development Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development informed that in the first four months of this year, cashew nut exports reached 152,000 tons, worth US$894 million, up 8.6 percent in volume but down 7.4 percent in value compared to the same period last year.
The US, China, and the EU remain the three largest markets for Vietnamese cashew, accounting for 26.8 percent, 17.7 percent, and 20.5 percent of the total export value of the cashew industry of Vietnam, respectively.

Cashew nut exports to the US market declined by 10.1 percent in volume and 30.5 percent in value over the same period last year. Cashew nut exports to the EU market surged by 14 percent in volume but dropped by 21.2 percent in value. Cashew nut exports to China jumped by 136.4 percent in volume and 140.2 percent in value.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese cashew processing enterprises imported 480,000 tons of raw cashew in April, spending up to $772 million, a sharp increase of 375 percent in volume and 470.5 percent in value compared to that in April last year.

In the first four months of this year, Vietnam imported a total of 1.19 million tons of raw cashew, with a value of up to $1.88 billion, up 300 percent in volume and 323.5 percent in value over the same period last year. The amount of raw cashew imports in the first four months of this year is almost equal to the total imports last year. Thus, after being the largest cashew exporter in the world for 16 years, Vietnam has had a trade deficit for the first time.

The Vietnam Cashew Association forecasts that cashew imports will reach nearly 2 million tons this year, with a value of up to $3.2 billion-$3.5 billion.

The average import price of raw cashew in the first four months of this year was about $1,580 per ton, up 5.8 percent year-on-year, as domestic enterprises vied for importing cashew from the West African market.

The reason is that the number of cashew processing factories in Vietnam has grown too fast. Currently, there are about 500 cashew processing factories across the country, with a total capacity of more than 4 million tons, equal to 50 percent of the total global raw cashew production, leading to a scarcity of raw materials.

By Phuc Van – Translated by Thanh Nha