Monday, August 20, 2012

AUG 18, 2012

Cashew market was steady in Week 33 – hardly any business reported although there was a fair amount of buying interest from some traders in USA & Europe at lower end of the range.  Indian domestic market moved up a bit but the activity was slow.  China demand in Vietnam is also slow but expected to pick up.  Small shellers who were selling at lower levels in June/July have been quiet for the last few weeks.  Most of the other shellers who have RCN to process till end of the year are waiting to see how kernel market behaves in coming weeks.  As they have paid high prices for the RCN and there is not much replacement available, they are not keen to sell at lower levels.

Buyers in the main importing regions – USA & Europe – are picking up any offers they see at the lower end of the current range (for nearbys) BUT  do not seem to be willing to pay the 10-15 cents premium that shellers are asking for the forwards. This situation is likely to continue until there is some contracting with retailers.

In normal times, some people – on both sides – would be willing to take forward positions but the precarious global economic situation is making things difficult.   Buyers do not want to pay premium for securing volume as they do not know what they will be able to sell.  Shellers do not want to sell forwards at lower end of the range because it is below cost  and they do not know see any prospect of decline in RCN prices since availability in next few months is limited.

In the medium term, demand will be the factor that will determine market movement. There is no big news expected on the supply side until the next Northern crops in 2013. Of course, the Brazil & East Africa 2012 crops which will start in Sep/Oct will have some impact but not too much as they only produce 25% of the world crop.

In the next 6-8 weeks, we will know trend of Asian demand for the last quarter and we will probably get some idea of USA/EU demand for the first half of next year.  If activity picks up in this period, we could see prices inch up a bit to the levels seen at the end of last year.   Otherwise, prices will continue to move around the current level unless there is a big drop in demand followed by a decline in RCN prices.

Would be grateful for your comments on market situation + views & forecast on trend for coming months + any information, news AND interest.

Pankaj N. Sampat

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