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Indian cashew sales fall 20% during festive season

Cashew processors have seen a nearly 20 per cent fall in sales this Diwali season in India from last year, hurt by increased imports of kernels and higher raw nut prices among other reasons. 

"Though import carries a duty of 45 per cent, cheaper rates (abroad) have led to its rise," said RK Bhoodes, chairman of the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India. 

Kernels are currently imported at Rs 300-400 per kg, in both whole and broken forms. "It is profitable as the selling price is higher in India," Bhoodes said. More imports are happening in broken cashews which are largely absorbed by the confectionery industry, he added. 

In India, retail cashew prices have moved up around 10 percent to Rs 800-820 per kg now. 

Another reason for higher retail prices this year is the rise in the cost of imported raw nut, traders and processors said. Costly raw nuts caused a 20 per cent drop in their imports to 7.70 lakh tonnes in 2016-17. 

The cashew industry has called for the scrapping of a 5 per cent duty charged on shipments from Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria, which account for a major share of imports. 

"Our domestic production of around 7 lakh tonnes and a part of the import goes for processing for internal consumption. As sufficient nuts are not available, 40 per cent of the (processing) capacity is lying idle," Bhoodes said. 

1 RS = 0.015 USD
1 lakh = 100,000

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