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  • Cashew nuts: the muscular bet of Tanzania

    Nov 21st, 2018

    Tanzania requisitioned the army to buy all their cashew nut production from farmers at a price much higher than what traditional buyers were offering. The crazy bet of President John Magufuli: to raise world prices of the cashew nut.

    Totally new situation in Tanzania: it is the army that collects cashews from producers. And it is very generous: 3,300 Tanzanian shillings per kilo, the equivalent of 1.26 euros, twice as much as the Cashewnut Board of Tanzania, the organization that had organized until the beginning of the campaign, advocated before the start of the campaign. then the auctions in the East African country.

    3 300 shillings per kilo or 1.26 euro producer

    The order comes from the head of state. John Magufuli felt that the price paid to the producer was not high enough. It is true that the international price of raw nuts had fallen since last February. Western demand for cashew kernels was disappointing, African nut production very abundant. The Vietnamese and Indian processors, sitting on stocks they had paid dearly, were selling at a loss the shelled kernel kernel. They whistled the end of the game.

    Store before the West African harvest

    Can the Tanzanian president succeed in bouncing world prices? The harvest calendar plays in his favor. Tanzania produces between October and January. The idea is to make the retention as long as possible on Tanzanian soil, before the harvests of West Africa which begin in February. And so to dry a little the international market of cashew.

    Expensive betting

    But the bet is very risky: buying as much as the entire Tanzanian crop, which could reach 300,000 tons of raw nuts this year, will cost the equivalent of 430 million euros, 5% of the Tanzanian budget. Cashew nut specialists at N'Kalo are seeing a slight rebound in prices since the Tanzanian announcement, whether it is the price of shelled walnuts, in India and Vietnam, or the paid field prices in Mozambique, the neighboring country. from Tanzania, where the harvest is also in full swing.

    African overproduction in view

     However, there are still a lot of stocks of unshelled nuts in West Africa, experts say, including 100,000 in Côte d'Ivoire. And while cashew imports have strongly resumed in the United States, demand remains weak in Europe. The price rally could therefore be short-lived, because in February, West African cashew production will start, and it will be even better than last year: 900,000 tons are expected in Côte d'Ivoire alone. .