Mintec assessed its Mintec Benchmark Prices for Vietnamese cashews, WW320, FOB Vietnam, at $2.63/lbs on 6th April, up by 2 cents/lbs compared to a month ago, with indications for good quality BRC certified material for prompt shipments heard between $2.55-2.70/lbs in the first week of April.
Prices have been relatively steady over the past month. However, Mintec observed fewer sellers at the bottom end of the price range towards the end of March and into April, with the near-by for April at a slight premium compared to May or June shipments.
“There is limited availability for prompt shipments from the sellers we deal with and some buyers are ready to pay premium for the prompt material,” a Vietnam-based broker said. “There has been an upturn in near-by interest,” a large European trader added, and another trader supported this further by saying, “near-by for April seems to be at a slight premium, it is not as easy to get the material as it was.”
According to some market participants, there has been an increase in buying interest from buyers who pushed purchases until later into the season and some importers have reportedly been looking for kernel replacements after being previously supplied poorer quality material.
“[Some] shippers take shortcuts. We have heard of some quality issues emerging in stock sold from less reputable sellers,” a trader said.
The lower prices on cashew shells (a by-product obtained during raw material processing) are also making processors compensate by hiking the kernel price.
The European spot market was reportedly active throughout March, with the interest from buyers further stimulated by limited supplies. “The European market is still active but difficult, we are waiting for shipments, the pipeline is empty,” European trader commented. “Demand in Europe is mostly for prompt shipments. We have only had couple of enquiries for Q4 2023 and Q1 2024. There is not enough stock of good quality material in Europe,” another trader added.
The market sentiment in Europe has reportedly improved from several weeks back, with some traders reporting better demand and a higher number of enquiries as buyers want to lock into contracts at the current low prices.