African cashew nuts increasingly in demand by Europeans

Published on 14 November, the latest cashew nut market newsletter from the agri-food consulting firm N’kalô confirms that the success of African cashew nuts with European consumers continues unabated.

Over the first three quarters of 2019, the European Union’s cumulative imports from Africa increased by 63% compared to the same period last year, from 4,063 to 6,623 tonnes. This is enough to make the authors of the report say that »[…] the growth of EU imports continues at a sustained pace ». In fact, the strong demand from the Old Continent is part of a global upward trend, with world production volumes of this dry fruit having increased by half since 2010 to 700,000 tonnes of shelled nuts.

In detail, African supply is primarily driven by West Africa (79% of the total), with the region seeing a 75% increase in exports to the EU (5,235 tonnes), compared to +28% for the rest of the continent (1,388 tonnes). As the leading African exporter, Côte d’Ivoire benefited from a very strong increase in its exports (+88% to Europe) to further strengthen its supremacy at the expense of its challenger, Mozambique (+40%). In relative terms, Burkina Faso (+113%), Togo (+189%) and Benin (+253%) are even better, although the volumes sold are admittedly more modest. In contrast, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Guinea, Tanzania and Madagascar exported fewer almonds to Europe than in 2018. A relative contraction in sales that also occurred in the US market: according to N’kalô data, African cashew nut exports to the United States fell by 12% in the first nine months of 2019, to 5,068 tonnes. As for the relative share of African exports to the two major markets of the EU and the United States, it remains marginal (4% of US imports and 7% of the European total) compared to the Vietnamese giant (85% and 74%).