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  • CAC announces hike in cashew prices

    Apr 26th, 2024

    The Cashew nut Association of Cambodia (CAC) announced an increase in the price of wet cashew nuts to 5,000 riels per kilogram, a new record in a 15-year period. The hike came amid exports exceeding 400,000 tonnes in three months at a value of over $500 million. At the beginning of 2023, wet cashew nuts had a value between 4,000 to 4,600 riel.

    El Nino conditions played a major role in price fluctuations barring Asian markets including Vietnam from processing cashews. Silot Uon, President of the CAC said that Cambodia’s raw cashew production volume from January to March 2024 was 474,000 tonnes. The figure was a reduction of as much as 13 percent. The same period this year saw cashew exports to Vietnam totalling 424,000 tonnes, raking in revenue of $543 million.

    Cambodia’s cashew exports to foreign markets in 2023 exceeded $837 million, marking a decline of close to 10 percent compared to the previous year.

    “Any increase is welcome news for processors, and also for our farmers. But we will have to watch the direction and the pace of price changes,” said Andreas Groetschel, Founder and Owner, Kamya AgriTrade. “With the main harvest season coming to an end soon, there are probably many farmers that will not yet benefit a lot from the increased prices this year.”

    This year is special, said Suy Kokthean, Vice President, CAC. Normally at this time of the year prices always go down but this year prices are up and it is very good and benefits the farmers, even though the industry is facing the El Nino threat that keeps their production low. Because Cambodian cashew nut is the best, processors and traders should find a niche market for this product.

    The sharp surge in price has been attributed to the attempt to reduce the sale of cashews by the association. Cashew prices remained solid in February and the first half of March at 4,000 riel per kilogram which helped to keep the supply of fresh raw seeds in the market. However a different reason was attributed by Takayuki Imahashi, Business Planning Officer, MIRARTH Agri Tech Co Ltd, who said, it is primarily attributed to the heightened purchasing rates by Vietnamese buyers.

    More processing within the Kingdom is encouraged by the Ministry of Agriculture, said Francois-Xavier Richard Choquette, Managing Director, Aidens Cashews. With more processing being done, domestically, more jobs are created. The goals of the National Cashew Policy can be met with more incentives in place, grants and long-term loans by the government, for those who add value ancillary cashew products.

    Rising cashew prices can help farmers mitigate losses resulting from the impacts of climate change, which often lead to reduced yields, said Sothnita (Cashew) Soeun, Handcrafted Cashew Nuts Stung Treng. “We are now working with international importers who recognize the challenges faced by farmers committed to producing deforestation-free conservation-friendly cashews,” she added.