In Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, the cashew industry is facing a myriad of challenges in its pursuit of international exports. This year, the sector has set a revised export target of US$3.05 billion, a considerable reduction of $750 million compared to the ambitious goal set by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The downward adjustment comes in response to several formidable hurdles hampering the industry’s growth.
The cashew industry is currently facing significant challenges, primarily driven by geopolitical crises that have led to uncertainties in trade dynamics on a global scale. Furthermore, the monetary tightening measures undertaken by central banks worldwide have contributed to market volatility and economic uncertainties, directly affecting the industry. Moreover, concerns over inflation and its potential ramifications on the global markets have exacerbated the industry’s difficulties.
Additionally, the industry has encountered a significant decrease in demand for cashews in crucial markets, which has placed additional strain on its endeavors. Consumers, responding to diverse economic factors, have exhibited more cautious spending habits, resulting in decreased demand for cashew products. This alteration in consumer behavior has heightened the intricacy of the industry’s export obstacles.
In response to these significant challenges, the Vietnam Cashew Association has acknowledged the imperative of enhancing promotional activities and exploring fresh prospects in vital markets, especially those with established free trade agreements with Vietnam. Pham Van Cong, the chairman of the association, emphasized the significance of focused endeavors to bolster exports and capitalize on potential areas of growth.
To enhance exports, the association has delineated several initiatives and forthcoming events. These plans entail arranging a trade promotion program in Japan later this year, succeeded by the International Cashew Conference in Vietnam’s Quang Binh province in the first quarter of the upcoming year. Furthermore, a trade promotion program in China is slated for the subsequent year. These events are anticipated to create fresh opportunities for the industry to exhibit its products and foster valuable partnerships.
Moreover, the association has called for supportive policies that would help enterprises adopt advanced technologies and equipment. Embracing digital transformation is seen as vital for the industry to stay competitive and adaptive to evolving market trends. Furthermore, investments in intensive processing techniques are encouraged to optimize cashew production. The promotion of organic cashew farming and the extraction of cashew shell oil are also part of the strategic plan to diversify exports and generate added value.
Over 279,000 metric tons of cashews were exported by the sector in the first half of 2023, bringing in a total of $1.6 billion, a commendable 7.65 percent annual growth. Nevertheless, despite this encouraging trend, the average export price fell slightly by 1.73 percent, to $5,717 per ton.
In conclusion, there are numerous issues that the Vietnamese cashew industry must address strategically. The sector can overcome its current challenges and continue to thrive in the cutthroat international market for cashew exports by implementing targeted promotional activities, adopting technological advancements, and exploring new growth opportunities.