Vietnam - The size and quality of the goods will certainly be affected

01.02.2023 283 views

Due to prolonged rains in Vietnam that continued into January, Thomas Walberg predicts a rather poor harvest of cashews in the Southeast Asian country. "The size and quality of the product will certainly be affected. Currently, Vietnam buys a lot of raw product from Tanzania, Ghana and West Africa, which is then cracked in Vietnam. With its own nuts alone, Vietnam cannot fully serve the world market," Managing Director of Horst Walberg Trockenfrucht Import Ltd tells us.

Strong price increases for goods from Ghana and West Africa
"Therefore, we also see strongly rising prices in Ghana and West Africa, as Vietnam has established itself very strongly as a buyer there." Eighty percent of Walberg's conventionally grown cashews come from India. "India has pulled back a bit in the meantime and is currently buying a lot more. There, starting in mid-February, many cashews are traditionally served at festivities during the "wedding season." Therefore, we are currently seeing rather firmer prices," says Walberg.

"Soon, Ramadan will also take place again. At this time, demand also increases more strongly again. Certainly, the market will firm up significantly in the next two to three months. What comes after that remains to be seen." In Tanzania, for example, a large harvest was originally expected, but in view of the drought, a smaller harvest is expected. Cashews are sold in vacuum-packed flexi bags that are transported in 22.68-kg cartons.

Higher sales in 2022 than in 2021
In 2022, there were intermittent bottlenecks within the supply of cashews, although freight prices had dropped again by the end of the year and there was sufficient capacity available. "Sales of cashews in 2022 were higher than in the previous year, as they are, after all, among the cheaper nuts and they are used in many blends." He said the majority of its clientele can be found in the industrial sector, although it also includes customers in the food retail and wholesale sectors.

Organic cashews from Vietnam and Burkina Faso
Interest in organic goods continues, he said. "However, recently consumers have tended to reach for conventional goods, as prices for organic products are very high. We source organic cashews from Vietnam and Burkina Faso. In the conventional sector, we place more emphasis on India, as we now have a relationship of over 20 years with suppliers there, which means we always know what we are getting. Unfortunately, there are always quality problems in Vietnam," Walberg explains.

The high freight, production and other costs have not yet been reflected in prices, he said. "We have concluded long contracts with reliable suppliers in good time. In this respect, the costs will only be felt in the course of the year."

Demand for the standard nuts remains high, he said. "Consumers want to eat healthier. However, everyone notices that budgets have become tighter. Since many are shopping more frugally, they are tending to cut back on quality and premium goods," Walberg says.

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