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Kerala Cashew Industry Gearing up to Tap Japanese Market Post Coronavirus Crisis

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

For the Indian cashew kernels with an yearly export of around 10,000 tonnes, Japan is an important market. However, the contribution of the Kerala cashew sector is around 8,000 tonnes and the balance will be met from Vietnam and China markets.

K Rajesh, National Committee Member of the Cashew Industry Protection Council said that the major buyer is Japan and the current lockdown is a hindrance to meet the demand fully. Hence, the sector is confident to utilize its potential once the restrictions are lifted. He said that the drum-roasted cashew kernels are the USP of Kerala product, which finds many takers in Japan.

The US, Australia, the European Union are also good markets besides Japan and the Covid-19 situation has led to a diminishing demand in these consuming economies, Rajesh added.

The Chairman, Federation of Indian Cashew Industry, R K Bhoodes said the sector is in the process of promoting use of cashew nuts as an immunity booster in consuming countries due to the presence of zinc

Now Kerala’s cashew sector is gearing to tap the Japanese market in the post-Covid days in view of rising demand and recurring orders for kernels as informed by V Sanjeev Kumar.

The shipments to Japan was as low as around 5000 tonnes, last year due to a subdued demand coupled with a muted work environment in the highly labour-intensive. He further added  that the cashew processing factories here on account of several sector-wise issue.

Japanese markets in the post-Covid days may give Vietnam and China an opportunity to gain supremacy in case of any delay while entering the Japanese Market. Both these countries have a competitive advantage of lower production costs because of mechanization. The cost of production for kernels in India is around Rs.700 per kg, while in Vietnam, it is around Rs.350/kg.

He further added that the consumption of cashew nut in the domestic market has been affected in the wake of the cancellation of marriages and other functions. However, it is expected to take at least 1 to 2 years to restore normalcy.

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