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  • Dekel drops 22% as cashew nut start-up suffers teething problems 01/11/2024

    Jan 11th, 2024

    Shares in plantation group Dekel Agri-Vision plc (AIM:DKL) shelled 26% of their value to a new low of 1.44p after it updated on a year when its cashew shelling operations were hit by teething problems, offsetting a strong performance for its palm oil business. In what was its first year of commercial cashew operations, technical issues with machinery resulted in a number of unpeeled cashews, even with alternate apparatus ordered in the fourth quarter. After bringing in an independent cashew shelling expert, Dekel expects to invest around €250,000 for recommended replacement parts, using existing cash resources, though this won’t bring about an improvement in production and quality until the second quarter. Peeled cashews sell for an average of €3,900 per tonne and their unpeeled brethren for €700 less. Palm oil production was simpler, with crude palm oil (CPO) up 51.7% to 39,073 tonnes and sales up 49.5% to 38,896 tonnes, but average selling prices fell 15% to €869 per tonne. Palm kernel oil sales grew 21% to 2,404 tonnes but average prices fell even more sharply, down 40% to €828 per tonne. Executive director Lincoln Moore said CPO prices remained relatively high compared to historical levels and that it was one of the palm oil operation’s best annual financial performances.