Ivory Coast: when cocoa overshadows cashews

Published on : 08/03/2021 – 00:10

More than in previous years, the early cashew harvest of the world’s largest producer is telescope with the cocoa season marked this year by declining exports and accumulating stocks. As a result, cocoa still mobilizes the logistical means that should be freed up for producers who buy and export cashews.

Late cocoa and early cashews don’t mix well at the world’s leading producer. Because the means of transport and storage of one are also those of the other. When the cocoa bags are still full of beans, they cannot be used by the cashew farmers who use them and the crops accumulate, sometimes on the floor in the houses. As long as there are not enough bags, the trucks cannot be filled, especially since the latter hardly circulate in the cashew nut production areas in the north since they are still going back and forth. – comes between the cocoa growing areas of the south and the Ivorian ports. As for the transporters, when they have the choice, they give priority to cocoa which pays better than cashew nuts which have a lower added value.

Ports still cluttered with cocoa

The problem is the same with the warehouses. In view of the abundant stocks of cocoa which cannot find buyers, they are not being emptied quickly enough and will not be able to accommodate, as planned, all the cashews expected to arrive massively in the next two weeks. As a result, until they are sure they have a warehouse, exporters slow down the pace of orders.

Today, the entire cashew chain is affected because of the overlap between the two campaigns. Especially since the cashew nut harvest, like last year, started a month early at the end of January.

Falling producer prices and fruit at risk of spoiling

This tension on the logistical means is specific to the Ivory Coast at the moment, explains Pierre Ricau, chief analyst of the information service on agricultural markets N’kalo, because of the production volumes of cocoa and cashew, without common with those of neighboring countries. And theThe late cotton harvest also complicates the picture, because it also still involves trucks.

The fear today is to see prices drop because seeing that they will not be able to transport the fruits, traders stop buying from the producer or negotiate hard : While the minimum price of cashew nuts is set at 305 CFA francs per kilo by the State, the fruit is now selling for 250 or even 200 CFA francs per kilo in the most remote growing areas.

The risk is also that some badly stored stocks will deteriorate and that they cannot be sold as planned to Vietnamese and Indian processors.

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