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Discussions are ongoing regarding a deal that could see 80,000 tons of raw cashews exported from Cambodia to India at an estimated rate of $1, 500 per ton
PHNOM PENH--An Indian company has signaled its intent to purchase 80,000 tons of raw cashew nuts from Cambodia, according to Chhorn Sopheak, deputy director of the Department of Agro-Industry at the Agriculture Ministry.
Sopheak said he met with representatives of Shree Devis Cashew Nut Industries on Jan. 28 and a memorandum of understanding is expected to be signed this month, provided Cambodia’s cashew products meet Indian standards.
Cambodia’s cashew exports reached 930,000 tons in 2021, which the Agriculture Ministry said was an increase of more than 328 percent by contrast to 2020, but 920,000 of last year’s cashew exports were bound for Vietnam, dwarfing other export destinations such as China, Thailand and Japan among others.
Sopheak added that Indian companies have previously relied on Vietnam for cashews, but the coming deal with Shree Devis Cashew Nut Industries could see a pivot to Cambodia, which in turn could see Cambodia improve the quality controls on agricultural practices to meet the demands of a new export market.
“The department is working to make the world know about Khmer cashew nuts,” he said. “Because most of our cashews were given symbols in Vietnam, we produce a lot, sell them to Vietnam, and Vietnam processes them into its products.”
Uon Siloth, president of the Cambodian Cashew Nuts Association, said that the company intends to buy small cashew nuts—200 seeds equal to 1 kilogram—while Cambodia only has large and high-quality cashew nuts.
“If they want only small seeds, we cannot supply them, we only have large seeds,” he said.
While negotiations are ongoing, the interest from India could see Cambodian cashews exported for around $1,500 per ton, Siloth added.