"The lack of cashew supply has brought the price of cashew nuts to a new high," Srey Sopheap, a cashew trader in Kompong chad province was quoted by The Cambodia Daily as saying.
Sopheap said the price of cashews increased from 3,500 riel ( about 0.8 U.S. dollar) per kg in February to 4,300 riel (1 U.S. dollar) per kg in May and that last year she had purchased cashews for as little as 2,800 riel per kg. Sopheap blamed the price hike on last year's cashew surplus, the replacement of some cashew tree plantations with rubber and a smaller harvest.
Sieng Pengsrieng, director of the Kompong Cham provincial commerce department, said that his province's cashew yield had dropped by roughly a quarter over the past year, from 40,000 tons to 30,000 tons.
"The cashew trees this year did not produce as many cashews as they did last year," Pengsrieng was quoted as saying.
According to Commerce Ministry Deputy Director-General Un Buntha, the decrease in harvested hectares in Kompong Cham was likely due in part to the introduction of a new variety of cashew tree that is supposed to yield more cashews, but that is, as of now, still not ready to be harvested.
Editor: Lin Zhi