For majority of 2020, Cashew Kernel prices have been moving athwart except for the big drop in Mar-April 2020 and a transient dip in August-September 2020. The prime traded grade – W320 has been in the range of 2.80-3.10 FOB Vietnam and 3.30-3.60 FOB India for most of SH 2020.
A striking feature has been that there has been a greater than usual variance between the minimum and maximum costs on any given day (even from the same origin for similar shipment period) and that business has been continued at both the ends of this range of difference.
Even now there remains a considerable price difference continues. At present, the price range for W320 is 2.90-3.10 FOB Vietnam and 3.45-3.60 FOB India.
RCN prices dipped to their lowest in April-May which was almost 50% as compared to January-February 2020. However, there has been a recovery of 30-35% in the past few months.
Nevertheless, COVID-19 and its influences on economies everywhere impacted the Cashew Sector in several ways such as movement of RCN, lowered processing in India, etc.
There was a substantial decrease in usage in our country during 2020-Q2 and Q3 – largely due to the effect of lockdown and other limitations on the HORECA sector. There are indications that things are recovering and we can hope for a good increment in consumption of Cashew in 2021.
In all other markets there has been rational growth in consumption during 2020. This can be anticipated to rise in 2021 due to the decreased prices (the minimum in 11-12 years), constant supply and the general fame of natural and salubrious foods.
Steady movement of broken grades has been a hurdle for all origins – made more serious by the decrease in usage of these grades in catering and customary sweets sector in the nation.
Contemporary kernel costs are the lowest in the last 10-11 years (Vietnam) and the last 5-6 years (India) and present RCN prices are the minimum in the last 4-5 years. It is quite feasible that we will see a slow and small increment in 2021.
Present RCN prices (US$ 1400-1500) are about one-third more than lows reached in April-May. They may step down during the peak of 2021 harvest (if all the crops will be good) but it is dubious that they will come down to the 2020 lows.
We feel that the prices will be steady to slightly firm till February-March as RCN availability is in short supply. Following that, movement will depend especially on off take in November- December which will decide the trend of kernel activity in January-February which subsequently will influence the RCN demand and costs in starting of 2021 crop.
All in all we hope that market will be steady for FH of 2021 with a chance of some increment if kernel market remains active in January-February. Downside is limited; it is improbable that in the coming future, we will again observe the alleviated prices like we witnessed in Q2 of 2020.
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