|Processing cashew nuts at an enterprise in Bình Phước Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Đình Huệ|
HCM CITY — Việt Nam’s cashew exports in the first two months of the year fell by 3.3 per cent to US$255 million, according to the Việt Nam Cashew Association.
Cashew has entered its main harvest season, and raw nut prices have gone up by 30 per cent compared to the same period last year, Nguyễn Đức Thanh, chairman of the association, told a press briefing in HCM City on Wednesday.
Fresh raw cashew is now selling at VNĐ46,000 a kilogramme while dried nuts fetch VNĐ60,000.
The import prices of raw nuts have also gone up by $150 a tonne this week to $2,000.
Phạm Văn Đẩu, a cashew expert, said changes in rainfall and poor weather have created ideal conditions for cashew diseases and pests.
Experienced farmers have managed to keep productivity normal, but in some areas yields are down significantly, he said.
The association last month made a fact-finding trip to cashew growing provinces to assess this year’s output.
It is expected to fall by 80 per cent in Lâm Đồng and Bình Thuận provinces largely due to pests.
But productivity in Bình Phước Province, the country’s main cashew growing area, and Đồng Nai and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu has not been badly affected.
The association is implementing a cleaner production programme to improve the quality of nuts, and has urged its members to invest more in deep processing to add value.
It will also continue to help its members promote consumption of cashew products in the domestic and export markets and farmers improve productivity.
Thanh said last year the country produced 1.5 million tonnes of cashew nut, or 50 per cent of the global output and exported 348,000 tonnes of cashew nuts worth $2.84 billion.
This represented an increase of 5.6 per cent in export volume and 18.4 per cent in revenue, and made cashew the country’s second largest agricultural export after coffee, he said. — VNS