Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) chairman Pham Van Cong has said the cashew nut industry will struggle to achieve its export target of $4 billion this year due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The disease has caused many European and American countries to restrict the movement of people, so the demand for food reserves increased but there is difficulty in transport and processing of cashew nuts, said Cong.
Some experts and cashew nut processors have forecast that the crop’s prices will fall further because it is not a main food. Consumers will prioritise spending on main foods during the pandemic.
Cong told the Saigon Giai phong (Liberated Saigon) newspaper that Vietnam’s cashew nut exports were expected to decrease in both volume and value. The total export value is estimated to reach $3 billion this year, $1 billion lower than the target.
Ministry of Industry and Trade data shows that the cashew nut export value in the first quarter of this year reached $644 million, an increase of only 0.8 per cent over the same period last year due to Covid-19.
Cong said the pandemic has also forced the association to delay the 2020 International Cashew Conference from March 2020 to next year, and also re-arrange plans on organising trade promotion delegations to China under the National Trade Promotion Programme.
With that situation, the association has recommended cashew nut processing and export enterprises to consider carefully before deciding to import raw cashew from other countries for processing, including from African countries and Cambodia.
The enterprises should not purchase raw materials when they do not have yet cashew nut export contracts.
They need to collect market information from many sources, thereby assessing the local and global cashew markets and impacts on those markets, especially the impact of the pandemic, to ensure their production and business efficiency.
At the same time, cashew farmers are also facing many difficulties due to the pandemic. Therefore, Vinacas has called on the enterprises to promote purchasing of raw materials from the farmers. That will contribute to maintaining development of the local raw material regions.
VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK