The hope of Nigeria exceeding earnings of $402 million from cashew exports this year is being threatened, National President, Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria, Dr Victor Iyama, revealed.
Iyama said this was due to the plummeting of international prices and reduced demand for Nigeria’s cashew following massive production from other producers. He said international prices for cashew have dropped since March, following massive production by Tanzania, India, Vietnam and others.
Global market prices for various grades of raw cashew are between $1,500 and $2,100 per tonne. However, the rates had come down to between $1,800 and $2,000 per tonne by May 2018 and declined further to between $1,600 and $1,800 by the end of June of this year.
As a result, buyers have objected to high prices. Given the declining market, he said, exporters have also been buying limited volumes.
He said cashew nut exporters are seeing a slump in sales as exporters try to get out of contracts because of the drop in world prices.
Dr. Iyama said the industry was concerned about unpredictable prices.
He attributed this to Apapa Road gridlock, which makes trucks carrying cashew to spend close to a month on the road.
Iyama said Nigeria produced 220,000 metric tonnes of cashew nuts out of World’s 2.1 million tonnes last year, adding that the country exported 120,000 metric tonnes this year.
Farmers in the country earned N123 billion ($402 million) from the export of cashew last year. Export earnings from cashew nuts have witnessed a steady increase in the last two years, rising from $152, 000,000 in 2015, to $259,000,000 in 2016 and $402, 050,000 in 2017.
Major importers include the US that accounts for 29 per cent of total cashew export value, the Netherlands with 17 per cent and China with 15 per cent.