Cashew kernel prices are trading high despite reports of increased production in major producing countries, traders said. Cashew nut prices have hit the roof and have crossed $5 per pound touching historic levels of $5.35-5.50 a pound. India produces 6-7 million tonne of cashews per annum and was until recently the leading supplier of kernels to the global market. “Demand for cashew nuts seems to be robust despite a historic rise in prices. European retailers have increased their retail prices for cashews and consumption is still seen good. The health benefits of nuts might be the reason for the sustained demand for kernels,”Pratap Nair of Vijayalakshmi Cashews, one of the oldest cashew kernels exporting companies, said. He was the chairman of the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) Congress held in Chennai recently. Demand is robust for cashew nuts despite competing nuts like almonds and hazel nuts selling at a discount, he added.
Global demand for kernel, which is a tree nut, has surged 53 % since 2010, outstripping production in at least four of the past seven years, according to the data reported by INC. According to market reports, nut ingredients market, in terms of volume, is projected to grow at CAGR of 5.7% from 2014 to 2019. On the demand side, US and EU continue to be large buyers but they have been overtaken by Asia which is now the largest consuming region. Whole kernels without defects or blemishes are required for the snack trade and the broken pieces are required for other
confectionery, biscuits and bakery products and other prepared foods.
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