Nut lovers beware, says Emiko Terazono in the FT. We are facing a cashew supply crunch. Unusually hot and dry weather, a result of the El Niño phenomenon, has reduced crops in Vietnam and west Africa.
Global production this year could fall by as much as 4% to 708,000 tonnes, reckons the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council. Rising labour costs in India have compounded the shortfall by eroding margins and encouraging the temporary closure of production facilities. Benchmark Vietnamese prices have soared to a five-year high of $4.20 a pound.