This season’s underwear
The 2023 campaign is likely to leave a bitter taste for West African farmers, particularly in the SEGABI zone, with a substantial drop in the producer price of raw cashew nut over the months, which has gone as far as being below the farm gate floor price.
Although the market has been seriously unbalanced with a simultaneous increase in production and a drop in the consumption of almonds around the world, the situation seems to be rebalancing without returning to the good levels of recent years.
Sharp drop in almond consumption in 2023, which seems to have resumed recently
We have seen a drop in cashew kernel imports from the United States in the 1st quarter of 2023 of more than 20% unheard of. If we refer to 2008 when there was a big drop in consumption following the subprime crisis which was only 10 to 15%.
Two explanations for this fall. The dynamics of consumption have slowed sharply following the decline in purchasing power. This is much the same phenomenon as that observed for organic products, and affects not only cashews but also all nuts. .
Second, there is the post-covid precedent where many agribusinesses have tended to reduce their immobilized stock. The trend continued with companies working with lower inventories.
What happens to unsold stock as the campaign ends?
This year, the SEGABI production covered by the LIFFT-Cashew project is estimated at 80,000 tonnes, representing an increase of 12.5% compared with 2022. But today processing is growing as fast as production. The SEGABI zone has nearly 18 processing units on average with a capacity of between 800 and 2,000 tonnes and about ten units under construction or inactive.
Who are the big losers?
Clearly the producers….
Fortunately, the fall in prices mainly occurred from April and a fraction of their production was sold at the beginning of the campaign between 350 and 450 FCFA per kilogram, which secured part of the producers’ income. About half of the harvest was sold below 300 to 325 FCFA per kilo, therefore at a low level.
Grouped sales have made it possible to cushion the decline, but they only represent less than 5% of production and Shelter For Life, through the B2B organization, has greatly contributed to establishing relationships between the various stakeholders in the value chain.
The countries that started their season later last year, Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Senegal, were at a serious disadvantage, arriving last on the market despite not having cleared their unsold quantities from last year under the warehouse receipt system.
And yet we will say that these are quality nuts
Indeed, as many producers would say, these are very good quality nuts. However, we note that the average quality has improved in the rest of the sub-region, particularly in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. What’s more, automation makes quality less important.
Moreover, within the framework of improving productivity and quality, Shelter For Life sent the Head of Agriculture and a Researcher from ISRA-Senegal specialized in cashew research, to carry out a prospecting mission for Vietnamese varieties.
This mission also aims to raise awareness of the experience of Vietnamese farmers and nurserymen and serve as a model in the SeGaBi zone.
For the next season, if the supply-demand imbalance does not resolve, unless there is a general rise in the number of nuts, and either a cycle of several years with cashew nut prices which will be closer to those in the 2000s, there are of course still uncertainties that 2024 will be a better year.
For more information and questions, please contact:
Mrs. Brigitte Françoise SAGNA, Regional PR Communications Officer, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: 00221 77 381 71 37
|See also: https://www.shelter.org/sen-p1||https://www.facebook.com/LIFFTCashewSFL/|