Raw Cashew Nut

Price trend of processed kernels

Cashew nut kernels, known for their delightful taste and versatility, have entrenched themselves as a staple ingredient in global cuisines. However, it’s the processed kernels of these nuts that command significant attention in the international trade sphere. In recent years, the price trend of processed cashew nut kernels underwent notable fluctuations, influenced by an array of factors. This article aims to dissect the market dynamics, backed by real data, while shedding light on the top importing countries, market overview, and segmentation.

Market Size and Growth Forecast

The Cashew Kernel Market is projected to expand from an estimated USD 3.77 billion in 2024 to USD 4.72 billion by 2029, indicating a steady growth trajectory with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.56% during the forecast period (2024-2029).

According to insights from the Global Cashew Council, Cote D’Ivoire led as the top producer of Raw Cashew Nut (RCN) in the 2020/2021 period, yielding 900,000 metric tons, followed by India, Vietnam, Nigeria, Cambodia, among others. Furthermore, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition underscores that regular nut consumption, exceeding four times a week, correlates with a 37% reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. This promising finding is anticipated to drive the incorporation of cashews into snack bars, offering a healthier alternative to calorie-laden chocolate bars, thus bolstering global cashew kernel consumption.

Additionally, the proliferation of processing facilities in African nations handling raw cashew nuts is poised to fuel demand for cashew kernels in the foreseeable future.

The consumption landscape of the cashew kernel market has witnessed a notable shift across North America and Asia-Pacific regions in recent years. This transformation is largely attributed to a surge in assorted cashew products securing a larger share in the retail market domain. Asia-Pacific emerges as the largest consumer market, with a growing inclination towards integrating cashew kernels into daily dietary regimes and the burgeoning popularity of healthy, ready-to-eat snacks.

Market Segmentation

By Grade and Quality

The global cashew kernel market can be segmented by grade and quality into categories such as:

  • Whole Cashews: These are whole, unbroken cashew kernels, often considered the most premium grade. Their unblemished appearance and high nutritional content make them popular among consumers.
  • Split Cashews: These are cashew kernels that have been split into two halves. While they may not command the same premium as whole kernels, they are still favoured for their nutritional value and versatility in culinary applications.
  • Broken Cashews: These are cashew kernels that have been broken into pieces. They are frequently used in the food processing industry, in dishes requiring smaller cashew pieces, or in the production of cashew butter and milk.

By Processing Type

Cashew kernels can be processed in different ways, each of which can impact their taste, texture, and nutritional profile. The major processing types include:

  • Raw Cashews: These are cashew kernels that have not undergone any additional processing like roasting or flavouring. They are praised for their natural taste and are often used in cooking and baking.
  • Roasted Cashews: These cashews are dry roasted to bring out their natural nutty flavour. Roasting can also make the kernels crunchier, enhancing their appeal as a snack.
  • Flavoured Cashews: These cashews are infused with different flavours like salt, pepper, honey, or spices, creating a diverse range of snacking options for consumers.

By End-Use

Cashew kernels find application in various end-use sectors, including:

  • Food Processing: Cashew kernels are used as ingredients in a wide range of food products, from baked goods and confectionery items to main dishes and salads.
  • Retail and Consumer: Packaged cashew kernels, whether raw, roasted, or flavoured, are popular as ready-to-eat snacks.
  • Bulk and Wholesale: Cashew kernels are also sold in bulk to food service providers, restaurants, and manufacturers.

By Organic vs. Conventional

With increasing consumer consciousness towards health and sustainability, the market for cashew kernels can be bifurcated into:

  • Organic Cashews: These cashews are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, adhering to organic farming practices.
  • Conventional Cashews: These cashews are cultivated using conventional farming methods, which may involve the use of synthetic inputs.

Price Fluctuations

According to data compiled from reputable sources such as the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) and market intelligence firms, the price trend of processed cashew nut kernels in 2023 showcased a mixed bag of ups and downs. The year kicked off with a surge in prices during the first quarter, attributed to increased demand from major importing regions like the United States, Netherlands, and Germany, coupled with supply constraints in key producing countries like Vietnam and India. These supply shortages were partly due to weather-related disruptions and logistical challenges exacerbated by the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global trade.

However, as the year progressed, prices experienced a gradual decline. This downward trajectory was influenced by several factors. Improved supply chains and the gradual resolution of logistical bottlenecks contributed to a more stable market environment. Additionally, a slowdown in demand growth in some markets, coupled with the availability of substitute products, exerted downward pressure on prices. Fluctuations in currency exchange rates further compounded these dynamics, influencing the competitiveness of cashew nut exports and, consequently, pricing in global markets.

Top 10 importing countries of Cashew Nut Kernel in 2023

The import landscape for cashew nut kernels in 2023 was dominated by several key players, each contributing significantly to global trade volumes. Here are the top 10 importing countries based on data from reputable trade organizations:

Factors Influencing Prices

Demand-Supply Dynamics: Fluctuations in demand and supply, driven by consumer preferences, dietary trends, and weather conditions in major producing regions, directly impacted prices.

Currency Exchange Rates: Currency fluctuations, particularly in currencies of major exporting and importing countries, affected the competitiveness of cashew nut exports, thereby influencing prices.

Trade Policies: Changes in trade policies, tariffs, and regulations imposed by importing and exporting countries had ripple effects on market dynamics and pricing.

Weather Patterns: Weather-related events such as droughts, floods, and cyclones in cashew-producing regions affected crop yields, leading to variations in prices.

Competing Commodities: The availability and pricing of substitute products such as almonds, pistachios, and walnuts influenced consumer choices and, consequently, the demand for cashew nut kernels.

The price trend of processed cashew nut kernels was characterized by a series of fluctuations driven by a multitude of factors. While the market experienced initial price surges due to demand-supply imbalances and logistical challenges, prices eventually stabilized as supply chains improved and demand dynamics evolved. Looking ahead, stakeholders across the cashew nut value chain must remain vigilant and adaptable to navigate challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities in this lucrative market segment. Understanding the complex interplay of factors shaping pricing dynamics will be essential for industry players to make informed decisions and ensure sustained growth and profitability in the years to come.

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