Tanzania: Until this point, about 225K MT RCN has been auctioned and crop is coming to its end. We may see some more, but limited quantities are reaching auctions. Crop size will be +/- 5-10% larger versus last year. Still, there is a lot of back-log in execution due to limited availability of container/vessels for exports. This may impact final crop quality at lading in Asia.
Indonesia: New crop arrivals through November look to be weak with just a third of the volume exported versus this same period as last year. Once the numbers for December and January period are available, we can make a better judgement.
We continue to see no negative news thus far from Mozambique and Brazil; these crops likely will reach similar quantities as last year.
Northern Hemisphere, 2022 crops:
South-East Asia: There is a decent amount of rainfall forecasted for this area, which could very well impact the flowering period in Vietnam and Cambodia. The rainfall, and its impact, will be something to closely monitor over the next month.
Western Africa and India are expecting normal seasons, therefore leaving nothing to report in either direction.
Overall, RCN prices remain high. Due to Tanzania trading their RCN well above expectations, there is not much room left for processors to keep matching destination market expectations. Most processors are through their RCN positions, and will start sourcing for post Tet production requirements from the spot market at a premium. While this hasn’t happened yet, we will likely see an impact on the current kernel pricing that is still available in the market.
All main destination markets have seen a growth in imports during 2021 compared to the 2020 numbers. 2020 imports were at an all-time high and seeing 2021 imports continue to grow makes it clear that the cashew demand is gaining over other treenuts. Price attractiveness, new consumer groups, and earlier NPD’s finally arriving on shelves are facilitating this upward trend.
It is unlikely we will see a different trend during 2022, as consumer behaviors continue to favor cashews (and other treenuts) due to the various health benefits, including heart-health, as well as providing an alternative to traditional snacking options.
Overall, besides a short window last year, Kernel prices are historically low. Consumption rates remain robust, and the demand is signaling to pick-up again.
Prices this year can be impacted by demand destruction or supply chain issues. Expectations point to an increase in shelf prices, which leaves us wondering how will the consumer react or continue to source? RCN/Kernel shipments are under stress due to ongoing container/vessel availability. RCN delays may create shortages in Kernel executions. If Asia crops come out poor, the demand for East- or West- African crops may accelerate. The unknown poses challenges surrounding the planning on usual/strategic pipelines.
Possible Market Triggers
Mismatch between price of inshells and Kernels continues. Price pressure tends to increase for nearby terms for Kernel processors.
In-shells keep trading at premium and remain in strong hands.
January and February rainfall events may impact flowering in Cambodia and Vietnam growing areas.
COVID-19 related supply chain issues continue and may impact various parts of RCN export and/or Kernel production areas.
EU and US pipelines remain thin beyond February/March, first signals show an increase of shipment requirements beginning in February and the months following.
Per usual, Tet closing will reduce production in Vietnam for February shipments.
China is likely readily covered for their Tet celebration requirements. New buying rounds are only expected from the end of February and onwards.
India’s local demand remains sluggish, especially for non-manufacturing grades.
Vietnam processors have some ready cargo they like to deplete before their Tet closing, which may lead to reduced prices for these spot loads.
Inventories in destination markets looks to remain positive and may be sufficient to absorb execution delays.