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  • Cambodia: cashew processing facilities worry about material shortages 05/02/2022

    May 2nd, 2022

    In the first quarter of 2022, Cambodia exported 213.41 tons of processed cashew nuts, an increase of more than 300% over the same period last year. However, the country's exports of raw cashew nuts fell by nearly 40%, to only about 272,000 tons of raw cashew nuts. According to the Cambodia Cashew Association (CAC), Vietnam is the main market for raw cashew imports from Cambodia, accounting for 271,980 tons, while China only imports 13.58 tons. Talking to the Phnom Penh Post, Chairman of the Cambodia Cashew Association (CAC) Uon Silot said that the decrease in cashew production at the beginning of the year was expected. Cambodia has a low cost of raw materials The Cambodia Cashew Association predicts that the country's raw cashew production will decrease by 10-30%. Photo: Phnom Penh Post The CAC association has warned its members that this year's cashew harvest could fall by 10-30%. Climate change is a major cause, severely affecting cashew production and quality. In this year's cashew crop, continuous rain during the time when cashew trees are flowering and fruiting causes a decrease in yield. Heavy rain also creates favorable conditions for the development of pests. Cashew growers must strengthen fertilizers and drugs, so production costs increase. Mr. Uon Silot also said that the price of Cambodian cashews also decreased significantly. The price of fresh cashews in Cambodia currently fluctuates at 2,500-3,500 riel (equivalent to 14,240-19752 VND/kg). While last year's cashew crop, the price of Cambodian cashews ranged from 3,000-4,500 riel (equivalent to 17,000-25,000 VND/kg). Cambodia has a low cost of raw materials A cashew processing facility in Binh Phuoc. Photo: Tran Khanh For many years now, the cashew processing industry in Vietnam has depended heavily on raw materials from abroad, especially from Cambodia and African countries. Although Binh Phuoc province is the "cashew capital" and is also the most vibrant export processing market in the country, it is also dependent on imported raw materials. This year, the weather is unfavorable. Similar to Cambodia, many cashew orchards in Binh Phuoc have reduced their output, even some gardens have lost everything. The price of fresh cashews in Binh Phuoc has also decreased to only 18,000-19,000 VND/kg. Not only cashew growers lose revenue, but cashew kernel processing facilities in the province are also insecure due to crop failure. While cashews imported from Africa need a long time to harvest, transport and import. Many cashew processing facilities are facing serious shortage of raw materials. Cambodia has a low cost of raw materials This year's cashew harvest in Binh Phuoc has both lost its crop and its price. Photo: Tran Khanh Dang Van Hau, owner of Cong Hau cashew nut processing facility in Bu Gia Map district, said that cashew nuts from Africa are still in the harvesting stage. This source of raw materials must go through distribution units, so it will take a long time to arrive in Vietnam. Not to mention African cashews and Cambodian cashews are not as delicious as Binh Phuoc cashews. "However, all current sources of raw materials are difficult to buy. What I am most worried about is that workers will not have jobs," said Mr. Hau. Mr. Ta Ngoc Tuan, owner of Ngoc Tuan cashew processing facility in Bu Gia Map district, said that some businesses buy raw cashews from Africa but sell them at high prices, so they cannot buy them. Mr. Tuan's facility is capable of processing 50 tons of raw cashews per day. In his warehouse, he only bought 2,000 tons, while the cashew season in Binh Phuoc is about to end. "This year's processing season may be interrupted. The establishment tries to buy wherever it is, then process it there to maintain work and income for the establishment and workers," said Mr. Tuan.