Guide to the international cashew market

This cash crop is, for many small West African farmers, a new and essential source of cash income at a strategic time of year both in terms of food security and investment in the development of their farms. It also offers the opportunity for significant development of agro-food industries with a strong need for labor.

This cash crop is, for many small West African farmers, a new and essential source of cash income at a strategic time of year both in terms of food security and investment in the development of their farms. It also offers the opportunity for significant development of agro-food industries with a strong need for labor.

Market analysis is based on two types of data:
– structural data: called “market fundamentals” which are the different elements that make up the nature of each agricultural market and which will be developed in this document.

– short-term data which requires regular and quality information on the evolution of the fundamentals and on all the parameters which can affect the marketing of agricultural products and which the actors of the cashew nut sector in West Africa can access thanks to the Service of 'Information.

General presentation of the cashew market

The cashew or Anacardium occidentalis is a tree native to northern Brazil. In the 15th century, Portuguese navigators introduced it to West Africa, East Africa, India and Southwest Asia (Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, etc.)

In the 1950s, industrial transformation developed in parallel in India, Brazil and East Africa (Mozambique, then to a lesser extent Tanzania and Kenya). The consumption of walnuts
cashew then began to grow significantly in the United States and Europe.

In the 1980s, the cashew sector in East Africa began to experience a period of decline linked to the aging of the orchards and the loss of competitiveness of the local processing industry.

At the same time, India has greatly increased its market share and developed a powerful processing industry requiring ever more raw materials. Thus, towards the end of the 1980s, the Indian processing industry began to import nuts from West Africa, triggering the development of production in a new region of the world.

During the 1990s and 2000s, growing demand from Western countries and then from emerging economies prompted the development of very large-scale production in Asia, Africa and Brazil.

Since 2009, we have witnessed the beginning of a leveling off in consumption in Europe and the United States as well as a relative stagnation in world cashew production, causing a significant slowdown in the growth of this market on a global scale. .

Why are cashew trees grown primarily for cashew kernels?

The fine has a consumer value of: 7,500 to 15,000 FCFA/Kg (15 to 30 USD/Kg)

The vast majority of marketed production is concentrated in four major areas: Southeast Asia, West Africa, East Africa and Brazil.

The 2012 global cashew nut production was over 2,200,000
tons of raw nuts, the equivalent of 440,000 tons of cashew kernels.
Opposite the top ten cashew producing countries in the world
in 2012 and their estimated production in tons of raw cashew nuts.

In West Africa, under optimal growing conditions, local varieties can produce up to more than 1 tonne of nuts per hectare.

The quality of cashew kernels is based on 3 parameters:

  • almond size
  • their color
  • the damage they suffered during the transformation process.

We can distinguish more than 24 grades of cashew kernel.

Cashew demand in the world

Cashew consumption areas in the world

Historically, cashew nut consumption is mainly located in North America,
in Europe and India.
While these three geographical areas remain the main markets for cashew kernel consumption throughout the world, other major consumers are developing in China, Russia, Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia), the Middle East (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia), the Middle East (Lebanon, Israel, Turkey), North Africa (Algeria, Egypt), Oceania (Australia, New Zealand) and Brazil.

The main nuts:

1) Almond: World production = approximately 1,400,000 T (shelled)

— Tree: Almond tree

- English : almond

– Main places of production: USA, Syria, Iran, Spain

2) pistachio: World production = approximately 550,000 T (shelled)

-Shaft: Pistachio

-English: pistachio

– Main places of production: Iran, USA, Turkey, Syria

3) cashew: World production = approximately 500,000 T (shelled)

-Tree: Cashew

-English: cashew

– Main places of production: Iran, Ivory Coast, Vietnam, Brazil

4) walnuts: World production = approximately 450,000 T (shelled)

-Tree: Walnut

-English: walnut

– Main production locations: China, USA, Iran, Turkey, India

5) hazelnut: World production = approximately 350,000 T (shelled)

-Tree: Hazel

-English: hazelnut

– Main production locations: Turkey, Italy, USA

6) pecan nuts: World production = approximately 50,000 T (shelled)

-Tree: Pecan

-English: pecan

– Main production locations: USA, Mexico