Indian cashew crop during 2020-21 will be shorter by approximately 50,000 tonne due to a variety factors including the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an estimate of the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC).
India is the biggest consumer of cashew kernels in the world and the second-largest producer of raw cashews after Ivory Coast.
INC estimates raw cashew production in India for 2020-21 at 6,91,000 tonne as against 7,42,000 tonne in 2019-20.Global raw cashew production in 2020-21 is estimated at 3,722,000 tonne and total supply at 3,924,000, with carryover stocks seen at 202,000 tonne.
“Lockdown during the peak harvesting season affected the crop both in terms of quality and quantity. Tea Mosquito and other pests in the West damaged some crop. As the flowering was delayed, many trees had only one flowering cycle. Cyclone and other unfavorable weather conditions last year have also impacted the crop. Reports suggest that crop is down by 20% in Western coast,” Pratap Nair, executive member of INC said.
INC data reveals that India produced 341,112 tonne of kernels after processing raw nuts in 2019, which is lower to Vietnam’s 487,298 tonne.
Nair said that Vietnam is seen capturing markets and processing more raw cashews. Production of raw cashews is also seen increasing in Vietnam and neighboring Cambodia.
India is increasingly seen as a consumer with the country consuming 275,000 tonne or 32 % of the kernels produced in 2019, which is way higher than 184,000 tonne consumed in North America.
“Indian demand is expected to likely to recover from the lockdown effect and remain steady.US demand was good in Q1 of the year with March consumption seen higher by 30%. Europe demand is also seen good in the first quarter. The only concern is the Middle East market where economy is dependent on crude oil,”he added.
INC reports that the global crop of tree nuts is forecasted to reach around 5.4 million metric tonne in 2020-21, representing an increment of over 730,000 tonne from 2019-20.
Pine nut, pistachio, almond and pecan crops are expected to be significantly higher than last year, while walnuts, cashews, macadamias, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts are forecasted at similar levels to the prior season.
Peanut production is forecasted to increase by 4.5 million tonne to 46.1 million tonne and dried fruit, total production in 2020-21 is expected to reach over 3 million tonne.