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Cashew Market Update - August 4, 2020

The cashew market has been reasonably silent in the last few weeks. We have seen interest from buyers to cover their needs for 2021 as the current levels appear attractive. As it is difficult to hedge far forward sales, the volume of trades for forward position is suspected to be low.

Inshells were more active and we see that inshell prices were firm and continue to remain firm. The current inshell parities are higher than kernel market prices. This situation has put a lot of shellers on the defensive and we are seeing many shellers closing due to lack of viability. We saw a very large transaction on inshells towards the end of last week whereby one company had purchased all the good quality unsold inshells from the government of IVC.

With the large position in inshells changing hands, most of the surplus inshells in the market is in very few hands. This will lend stability to inshell and kernel markets if these players do not panic.

On the consumption side, we think we have already seen the worst. China continues to be guarded in their cashew purchases. In India, we have seen stability in domestic demand and there is news that prices of cashew pieces have also stabilized.

All signs indicate that we have come close to market bottom unless economic activity suffers again due to the pandemic.

Possible Scenarios

Bullish

  • Limited availability of good quality inshells at a reasonable price
  • Demand/consumption is healthy in the US
  • Many small and medium shellers are closing operations due to lack of viability
  • Inshell surplus is dispersed in a small group of players… unless these players panic, inshell prices will not drop
  • Tanzania and Indonesia are the next big crops, and these are known to trade at a premium
  • COVID-19 spikes in Vietnam are causing concerns that kernel production would be affected

Bearish

  • COVID-19 second wave and its impact
  • Asian demand continues to be poor, Indian festival demand could be impacted severely
  • Excess shipments and inventory at destination

Please take care and stay safe and healthy

If you have any comments or suggestions, please write to me at ganesh@olamnet.com or message me on LinkedIn.

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