India: No change in cashew prices

There has been no change in cashew prices during Week 41. There was an increase in the number of enquiries, though not so much in terms of actual business carried out. There was reasonable buying interest at the lower end of the range but selling interest at the lower levels is limited.

The price range is more or less unchanged i.e. W240 from 3.60 to 3.75, W320 from 3.15 to 3.35, W450 & SW320 from 3.00 to 3.10, SW360 from 2.70 to 2.90, Splits from 2.00 to 2.25, Butts from 2.10 to 2.30 and Pieces from 1.60 to 1.75 FOB.

There is nothing to report on the RCN (raw cashew nut) market except for some trades for good quality Indonesia in the range of 1325 to 1350 C&F. There seems to be a reasonable quantity in West Africa but there is little buying interest because of a dull kernel market and quality concerns. No news has yet emerged from Tanzania or Mozambique about pricing or movement.

The current price range is the lowest in the last two years and is significantly lower than the average of last two years. If the increase in processing costs is taken into account, current prices are probably lower than the average of last 5 years – or at least close to that.

Due to the fragile economic situation, all links in the chain are content to operate with short term positions. In one way this is good as the market continues to move in a narrow range, but on the other hand there is the risk of sharp movements if something unusual happens. As far as cashews are concerned, supply side factors are well known and no big surprises are expected. Demand continues to be hazy and short term developments on this side will continue to influence market movement until there is some confidence for long term planning.

Prices for other nuts – except peanuts – are steady and there are signs of small increases in some of the other treenuts. It seems that the market is adjusting to the new “normal” price range for treenuts which is higher than the 5-10 year average to reflect higher costs of raw material, processing, logistics (and the general increase in prices of all agricultural commodities).

Overall, everything points to a steady market moving sideways in a narrow range. Unless there is a big fall in RCN prices, there is very little chance of any further big decline in kernel prices. On the other hand, there is a possibility of some price increase if kernel activity picks up in the next few weeks because shellers will be reluctant to take big positions at current levels.

For more information:
Pankaj N. Sampat
Samsons Trading Co.
Tel: +91 22 64564300
Mob: +91 98200 79015
Fax: +91 22 26462346
pankaj@samsons.co.in


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