The South American cashew market is projected to witness a CAGR of 4.6% during the forecast period (2020-2025). South America is globally regarded as the place of origin of cashews. Major cashew growing countries in the region are Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Bolivia, amongst others. The United States and the other North American countries are the major cashew trade partners of South America. The largest importing countries in terms of value are Vietnam, India, and the United States.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Export Demand from the United States and the European Countries
Brazil is currently focusing on trade events through its Agency for Promotion of Exports and Investments (APEX) for the popularity and growth of its cashew trade. Many small South American countries are focusing on supply-chain development and competitive pricing to boost their export demand. The South American countries like Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador possess high potential for trade in the region. Such initiatives are bolstering the trade of country's shelled cashew nuts, while the trade of raw cashew nuts are more or less observed to be the same, as the country is highly dependent on imports of processed cashew nuts rather than on in-shell forms.
Brazil - Consumption Trend
Being very sensitive to the increase in price, which is directly passed on to consumers, consumption of cashew is affected by the consumers’ purchasing power. When cashew prices are too high, consumers switch to other nuts or types of snacks. According to the analysis, Brazilian cashew consumption over the past decade rose by about 4%, increasing steadily from 140,398 metric tons in 2004 to 248,181 metric tons in 2011, and decreasing afterward to 102,544 metric tons in 2016. The decline since 2011 is reportedly reflecting lower production levels, cashew price increases, and substitution with other nuts, as well as the significant Brazilian economy slowdown in 2011 and 2012, driven by both domestic and external factors (GDP growth of 7.5% in 2010 decelerated to 2.7% in 2011, and dropped to 0.9% in 2012). Most cashew kernels are consumed as roasted and salted in snacks, and as ingredients in chocolate and ice cream products. Consumption is actively promoted by scientific research and frequent reports on the health value of nut consumption. Considerable amounts of cashew apples are also consumed fresh or processed.
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