The wholesale prices of higher-quality raw cashew nuts for processing in the first half of 2021 were similar to last year, and harvest volumes will likely record slight declines.
Khan Kosal, owner of a processing plant in Preah Vihear province, told The Post on July 13 that growers are selling superior-grade raw cashew nuts at an average of $1,600-1,700 per tonne in his area, similar to last year, and that climactic factors and limited cultivation techniques had likely brought down harvest yields.
“Prices have not risen this year, and yields may have fallen slightly, not just in the areas I am buying it from,” he said, adding that the number cashew nut orders placed at his business were also similar to 2020 levels.
Kroch Panvorn, chief of the Preah Vihear provincial Department of Commerce’s Business Development Office, said the going rates for standard-grade cashew nuts in the province were 3,500-5,200 riel ($0.86-1.28) per kg, slightly lower than in 2020, though that figure peaked at almost 7,000 riel last year.
“The decline was driven by the spread of Covid-19, which caused orders for both domestic processing and exports to fall simultaneously,” he said.
The cashew nut harvest season in the province typically falls between January and May each year, with an average yield of 2.2 tonnes per hectare, he said, adding that this season’s crop reached about 45,000 tonnes.
“Cashew nuts boast high processing and export potential, and I expect cultivation to pick up in the near future,” Panvorn said, adding that the province had begun to witness a substantial increase in processing operations.
Meanwhile, Tbong Khmum provincial Department of Commerce director Sokhon Toch said the price of cashew nuts in the province had marked a slight surge this year to $1,300-1,400 per tonne, up from about $1,100 in 2020.
He suggested that the upsurge in rates was buoyed by pent-up demand following the 2020 harvest seasons’ lacklustre yields.
The Kingdom exported 843,243.26 tonnes of cashew nuts in the first half of 2021, up 336.43 per cent year-on-year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reported.
Vietnam topped the list of buyers, importing 836,450 tonnes of Cambodian cashew nuts, followed by China (3,590.83 tonnes), Thailand (3,147.40 tonnes), Japan (33.48 tonnes), India (17 tonnes), South Korea (2.02 tonnes), Laos (two tonnes), Togo (0.01 tonnes) and the UAE (0.01 tonnes).