Cashew exporters’ earnings to drop by N52bn

There is strong indication that earnings from unprocessed cashew nuts by Nigerian exporters will fall this year by 60 per cent, following the sharp decline in the global price of the nuts.

However, processed cashew nuts will still attract N759.2billion but the country lacks machines and skill to process the commodity.

Parts of the challenges facing the exporters in the country include lacks machine and equipment to process the nuts, poor handling, pilferage, defective packaging and delay on the port road.

It was learnt that proceed from the projected export of 260,000 tonnes would fall from N130billion to N52billion ($142.4million) in 2019 because downward fall in the price the nuts in the global market.

At Vietnam, the price of processed cashew nuts has been reduced from $10,500 per tonne to $8,000 per tonne, depending on the quality of the nuts.

Also in Nigeria, the price of the nuts has fell from $1.6million per tonne to $547.94 per tonne.

Despite the fall in the price, findings by New Telegraph revealed that the country can realise N759.2billion ($2.08billion) if the nuts are processed before export.

However, due to lack of processed machines, the country will earn only 6.85per cent of the N759.2billion.

Already,  as at April this year, some 50,000 tonnes of the commodity valued have decayed at Lagos ports and its access roads.

The nuts were trapped as some of the containers conveying them to the ports were trapped on the roads due to traffic gridlock.

Also, it was gathered that some containerised nuts which arrived the seaports for export in the first quarter of the year were  delayed by Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) and other security agencies.

Early in the year, the Federal Government has said that the country could realise   about N972billion ($2.7billion) revenue for Nigeria from the projected 270, 000 tonnes of processed cashew nuts by the end of this year.

It also decided to assist the exporters in processing the nuts, following its rejection by the Vietnamese buyers.

The President of the Nigeria Cashew Exporters Association, Tola Fasheru explained that the cashew nuts processed for export in January, 2019 were still inside containers queuing to access the ports due to inadequate facility and corrupt practices both within and outside the ports.

He said noted that the roads leading to the Lagos ports were congested with trucks of agricultural produce.

Last year, some 37,000 tons cashew nuts were tampered with and pilfered on the port roads and they were subsequently rejected by buyers.

Some of the nuts, it was gathered, have spoiled by the time they get to the ports for shipment to various destinations.

The nuts are being used as versatile industrial raw material for phenolic resins, friction powder for the automotive industry and wine.

Also, it was gathered that poor handling of cashew production and defective export packaging processes have made the country to be losing N177billion ($491.6million) annually.

The president explained that the lack of infrastructure, inadequate capacity, stifling red tape and corruption were the main threats hampering export processes.

Fasheru noted: “There is a palpable lack of synergy among the port operators and this is affecting the business of our members.”

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