Monday, December 24, 2007

Weekly Cashews Report

Dec 22, 2007

Market has been quiet in the last two weeks – not much trading from India with USA & Europe but steady business with other markets. Prices have come down few cents from the peaks of November. Levels traded W240 around 2.95, W320 around 2.60, W450 around 2.50 FOB

USA & Europe are showing interest at the lower levels – Indian packers are not keen to sell at these levels but there are reports of some sales from Vietnam for Apr forwards..

No fresh news from Brazil – jury is still out on the size of the crop… if it is as small as some people say, availability from Brazil in 2008 will be much lower than last few years

Rawcashew prices are steady – Tanzania around 1050-1075, Mozambique around 850 C&F. It seems availability from these two origins will be more or less the same as last year but prices are substantially higher & with increased processing costs, the parity is higher than current kernel prices

Going into 2008, the cashew market is at a crossroad. If the NEED of USA & Europe buyers to cover in Jan/Feb is high (like it was in Nov) then prices will move up again and timing will be very wrong. RCN prices in second quarter – when over 70% of the world crop is traded – will be high. If processors are forced to buy RCN at high prices, it will set the floor for kernel prices for Apr/May forwards - it will be interesting to see what impact it will have on buying for second half of the year. On the other hand, if buyers do not NEED to buy too much in the first quarter, prices will remain in a reasonable range and there may not be much movement

First few weeks of 2008 are going to be unusually crucial & critical – volume of activity in this period will have great impact on price (and demand) trend and consequently the fortunes of the cashew sector for rest of the year

Would appreciate your comments on market situation, consumption trends, forecast of demand and market trend.... and any other info / news

Regards
Pankaj N. Sampat
Mumbai India

Israel seeks US help to fight Iranian pistachios

Posted Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:50am AEDT

A US official says Israel has asked for US help in cracking down on illegal pistachio nut imports from Iran, after Washington warned the trade was hurting efforts to curb Tehran's nuclear programme.

Israel imports pistachios worth 100 million shekels ($29.8 million) annually, mostly from Turkey.

But Washington says nuts from arch-foe Iran are mixed in with the shipments, undermining economic sanctions meant to force Tehran to stop developing its nuclear capabilities.

US Under Secretary of Agriculture Mark Keenum urged Israeli Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon this week to combat the problem. Mr Simhon agreed, but asked for guidance on how Israel might proceed.

"Israel doesn't have to be urged too much to do something that will deny Iran trade dollars," said Zvi Alon, an official in Israel's Agriculture Ministry.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Is She A Nut ? Please Comment

Please Comment and tell me What you think ? the funniest comment gets 5 free pound of pistachio nuts

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

India, Brazil, Vietnam launch cashew alliance
newsIndia, Brazil and Vietnam, the three main cashew producers, have formed a global alliance for cashew with a view to protecting their interests, union minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh said. The grouping would have its headquarters in India and the government is debating the feasibility of locating it at Kochi, Kollam, Bangalore or Mumbai amidst pressures for locating it at Kollam, the minister said at a press meet.Unlike the OPEC, the minister said, the cashew alliance would work as a lose confederation of three major cashew producers of the world, aiming to ensure that interests of the three countries do not get hurt. India, which produces and imports half a million tonnes of cashew annually, is the world's largest cashew producer, importer, processor and consumer. The alliance will ensure that high productivity in a country will not have destabilising effect in the other two countries, he said. The concept was ready and the three countries have agreed for such an alliance. In the next six months, a decision in this regard is likely to be taken, he said. On the proposal for setting up a cashew board, the minister said the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade had been asked to carry out a study on the best way to organise the cashew industry in India.A global alliance for promotion of cashew had already come into force with two of the three major cashew producing and exporting countries as India and Vietnam and signing an agreement in this regard in January. Besides ensuring price stability, Brazil, India and Vietnam will work jointly and through their governments to induce international organisations like FAO, UNIDO and other similar agencies to focus on cashews with the objective of increasing consumption of cashews in all countries as a food of importance.These countries intend to work towards promotion of cashews in new and expanding areas of indirect consumption such as chocolate, confectionery and bakery products, and as food ingredients. Apart from promoting the commodity, these countries want to work in a spirit of cooperation for research and development, primarily for studies in nutritional and health benefits and product development.The alliance also plans to enlist the support of the International Nuts and Dried Fruits Council, which is specialised in the promotion of treenuts and dried fruits.The three countries would also regularly exchange information on crop prospects; production, import and export figures; reliable market information; and government policies affecting the industry. Source: domain-b.com

UNNATI GANDHI
From Friday's Globe and Mail
December 7, 2007 at 4:52 AM EST
A cocktail of poor weather conditions, health-conscious consumers and the generous use of cranberries in everything from trail mixes to lotions has led to an industry-wide shortage of the tart red fruit this year, production and retail officials say.
And the timing couldn't have been worse, with the annual cranberry binge set to begin with the holiday season.
Blake Johnston, president of Canada's largest cranberry packing company, Bezanson & Chase of Aylesford, N.S., said he has produced 50 per cent fewer cranberries this season than expected.
"I'm short two million pounds of fresh cranberries, and that shortage started in September and continued through the season. And I've already gone through about two million pounds this year," he said in a telephone interview from Wisconsin. "I'm out here right now looking for cranberries, and there are none." Shortages tend to mean price hikes on dwindling inventories.
Prices have gone up by as much as 20 per cent in some markets this year, according to Jean-Fran├žois Bieler of Atoka Cranberries in Manseau, Que.
According to data from the Cranberry Marketing Company, a U.S. industry group, the wholesale price of cranberry-juice concentrate charged by processors to juice makers and other distributors increased to $65 (U.S.) a gallon last month from $45 in August.
Mr. Bieler is one of those dried cranberry and juice concentrate processors. His company operates the largest single-site cranberry farm in the world, and exports 90 per cent of its inventory.
Mr. Bieler said that with a 15-per-cent decline in supply industry-wide since last year, and at least a 7-per-cent increase in demand, price increases this season are going to be "pretty impressive," going well beyond the average $2.99 per 12 oz. package.
In Canada, where cranberries are typically grown in Atlantic Canada and Ontario's Muskoka region, cooler and drier than normal summers in Quebec and New Brunswick this year have led to a 30-per-cent crop decline, he said.
"All I can suggest is if you see fresh cranberries in the supermarket, buy them now and put them in the freezer," Mr. Bieler said.
Tammy Smitham, spokeswoman for A&P, said there was a shortage in supplies after the U.S. Thanksgiving, but the chain is hopeful that it will have enough to last through to Christmas.
"But there won't be any especially hot advertising or promotion on it because we want to be able to ensure that we can meet demand right through," she said.
What's driving the increase in demand, which has steadily risen by 20 per cent each of the past five years in Canada and the United States, Mr. Bieler said, is the use of cranberries in everything "healthy," including cereals, granola bars and snacks.
"Whereas before it used to be just around the holidays, it's almost a staple food now. There's less and less seasonality with cranberries now."
Much of that is attributed to the marketing efforts of industry leader Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., which has been promoting the health benefits of the fruit for several years. Included in that is research that has shown cranberry juice may prevent urinary tract infections. Several studies have found that that the fruit also has high levels of antioxidants.
"We've had wild increase in demand for our products over the past year or two ... definitely in the double digits internationally and domestically," Ocean Spray spokesman Chris Phillips said.


Marc Stevens

Monday, December 10, 2007

Weekly Cashews Update Dec 8, 2007

After a month of continuous rise, cashew market is taking a breather and prices dipped a bit – levels traded at the end of this week W240 around 3.00, W320 around 2.65, W450 around 2.50 FOB. There was limited activity – most of it from small & medium packers in India except for the broken grades where Vietnam was more active due to their lower prices.

Brazil continues to be quiet – in the next few weeks, there should be some selling interest from there unless the crop is very very bad. If crop is around 275,000mt as many people expect, they will have a reasonable quantity to sell for FH 2008 shipment as they do not seem to have sold much so far.

Indonesia & East Africa RCN prices did come down a bit this week following quiet kernel market but they are still at disparity considering that outturns are lower and forward kernel sales are not easy.. Processors are buying against earlier sales which were at much lower levels and they will only buy as much as they absolutely need to, unless prices ease further

If nearby short positions are covered, kernel buyers might decide to limit their buying over the next few weeks to cover gaps.. This will bring some sanity to the market but if the demand after holidays is anything like what we saw in Nov, prices may go up again in Jan/Feb.. This will mean higher RCN prices in India, Vietnam, West Africa and consequently keep kernel prices high throughout 2008

Regards
Pankaj N. Sampat