The Ivorian cashew industry is in turmoil. Hundreds of trucks loaded with nuts have been queuing for weeks in front of the exporters’ warehouses in the port area of Abidjan, because they can not find buyers.
The reasons for this blockage are, on the one hand, the quality of nuts considered as bad and small and, on the other hand, the official purchase price considered too high in view of the evolution of the international market.
Exporters, mostly Indian and Vietnamese operators, refuse indeed the nuts of less than 46 grams, then sold at low prices, indicate sources cited by the agency AIP, while the arrival of the rainy season makes the drying and therefore the quality of nuts more problematic.
A situation that is not without consequences on the whole chain. For several weeks now, the confrère has been releasing information about the fall in buying prices to farmers in production areas in the country. These prices currently oscillate between 200 and 400 CFA francs per kilogram depending on the zones, while the official minimum price is 500 FCFA.
This slump is a reminder of the export crises experienced by the cocoa and, more recently, coffee sectors, as a result of price volatility on the international market. And Ivorian public finances could suffer from this situation.
Cashew is indeed a strategic sector for Côte d’Ivoire today: with a production of 771 000 tonnes in 2017, or 23% of the world supply, it is the third largest export product in the country. the World Bank.
Last month, the country obtained $ 200 million in funding from the institution to boost local processing, which represents less than 6% of its production, a level that the authorities intend to increase to 50% by 2020.