The EU is Vietnam’s second-largest cashew nut export market. While the demand for high-quality products in this area is increasing, the lack of market information and limited capacity in deep processing are challenges for the cashew sector.
The EU is Vietnam’s second-largest cashew nut export market. (Photo: Internet)
According to Ms. Nguyen Thu Thuy, Deputy Director of Export Support Center, Trade Promotion Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade), the EU is Vietnam’s second-largest cashew nut export market. This area accounts for 23% of the total volume and 22% of the total value of the cashew sector in 2021.
OPPORTUNITIES ARE OPEN WHEN THE EXPORT TARIFF TO THE EU IS 0%
It is estimated that Vietnam’s cashew nut export to the EU in 2021 reached 130,000 tonnes, an increase of 16.5% in volume compared to the same period last year. The growth in cashew nut export to the EU has contributed significantly to the sector’s overall growth.
In the EU, Vietnamese cashew nuts are exported to many Western European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Belgium. Especially the Netherlands and German are countries that have important focal points to import cashew nuts from Vietnam for re-export.
For Eastern Europe, Vietnamese cashew nuts are available in many countries such as Russia, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine.
The implementation of EVFTA has brought great expectations to the cashew sector. (Photo: Internet)
Mr. Dang Hoang Giang, Secretary-General of the Vietnam Cashew Association said that the EU has an important role in Vietnam’s cashew sector even during the Covid period. 27 EU countries (including the UK) contributed nearly 24% of the Vietnamese cashew sector’s export in 2021.
The total turnover of cashew nut export to the EU in 2021 reached over 867 million USD out of a total of 3.75 billion USD for the whole sector. The export result in 2021 has helped Vietnam overcome India to become the world’s leading cashew exporter for 15 consecutive years since 2006.
The Netherlands is the EU’s largest importer of Vietnamese cashew nut, with a market share of approximately 60%. Germany is in second place with a 47% market share. Britain accounted for 40.6%, France 48%, and Spain 37.5%.
“So far, Vietnam accounts for over 80% of the export share of the world cashew sector. This is also the main export of Vietnamese agricultural products with quotas over fruits, vegetables, rice, pepper, etc for many years,” Mr. Giang emphasized.
According to experts, cashew nut export to the EU is having many advantages. First of all, Ms. Thuy said that EU consumers focus on products with health benefits, alternative protein products (plant origin), sustainability, and waste reduction. So, the cashew nut is an appropriate product.
Besides, the tariff for cashew nut imports from Vietnam into the EU decreased to 0% as soon as the EVFTA took effect on August 1, 2020. Before the effectiveness of this agreement, the EU tariff was around 7-12%. Therefore, the implementation of EVFTA has brought great expectations to the cashew sector.
Moreover, according to Mr. Giang, the EU is a large, stable market with high demand and affordability. Besides, the human resources of the Vietnamese cashew sector are experienced in cashew nut processing, modern processing technology, and equipment. One more strength is the ability to meet the requirements of products in foreign markets.
AVOID LOSING MARKET SHARE WHEN FOCUSING ON WHOLESALE
In the context of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Vietnam’s cashew export is facing the risk of supply chain disruption due to escalating trade and geopolitical tensions and high transport costs.
In addition, the sector still has some limits with deep processed products, especially roasting and seasoning cashew nuts based on the tastes of European consumers. European countries require strictly the quality of products as well as food safety.
Vietnamese cashew nut enterprises are still limited in marketing, capturing the tastes and trends of customers, especially products sold in supermarkets and convenience stores. We are weak in brand promotion, communication, and e-commerce.
Although there has been great support from the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Vietnam Trade Offices abroad, Vietnamese enterprises are still “hungry” for information about trading partners and markets. On the other hand, the activeness of the association and enterprises is not high yet.
In particular, Mr. Giang said that the growing area of cashew nuts is small, difficult to expand, and does not meet the local sources of materials. Therefore, we have to import a large number of materials from abroad every year.
The organic cashew growing area is small-scale while the organic cashew market has not met the increasing demand of the EU and the UK. The cashew sector has over 3,000 processing facilities but the number of facilities meeting the high standards of the EU market is not much.
According to Mr. Giang, the cashew sector needs more support from foreign representative agencies in market forecasts, consumer trends in the EU market, and trade with other countries.
Mr. Vu Anh Son, Vietnam Trade Counselor in France, said that organic products are very popular in Europe in general. To meet organic standards, cashew nuts must be produced under the EU organic standards. Growing and processing facilities must be evaluated by a licensed European certification unit such as the Fairtrade and Rainforest certification.
90% of cashew nuts in the EU are snacks and salt-roasted while 10% are used as processing ingredients. We are having the opportunity to export to the final segment in the EU through the final distribution channels, retailers, food services, and the food processing industry. However, it requires Vietnamese enterprises to improve their marketing capacity, product quality, etc.
Vietnamese enterprises need to quickly invest in the quality to distribute products to consumers. This will help the added value become higher and avoid losing market share when focusing on the wholesale segment without knowing where our products go.