Ivory Coast: the smuggling of cashews worries the industry players
25 March 2017
(Ecofin Agency) - In Côte d'Ivoire, smuggling of cashews to neighboring countries raises many concerns in the largest producers and exporters of nuts.
If they are used to the phenomenon that has developed in recent years, many fear that the rise in cashew demand might revive traffic, this season.
They estimate that about 100 000 tonnes of cashew nuts could pass illegally to several neighboring countries including mainly Ghana, by the end of this season.
Among the reasons for the traffic, several players point the finger export taxes and high transportation costs. Interviewed by Reuters , exporter stressed that Ghana does not apply to export tax cashew, unlike the Ivory Coast, which has set a FCFA 85 fee for the kilogram (kg) of cashew. Moreover, he continues, transit costs are higher in the Eburnean nation than its neighbor Ghana.
To these factors, coupled with the high price of a kilogram of cashew applied in Ghana. According to Reuters , some producers in the eastern region of Côte d'Ivoire, receive about 900 to 1000 FCFA per kg of nuts sold Ghanaian buyers even as the price applied on Ivorian soil is 440 FCFA.
" The government must do something quickly [...] All quality nuts go illegally to neighboring countries . C ette location puts the whole sector at risk . ", Warns another exporter indicating that 40 000 tonnes of nuts have been exported illegally.
Overall, the increased smuggling is bad news for the Ivorian export sector that relies on a record production of 715,000 tonnes this year.
To measure the extent of the shortfall on the Ivorian side, be aware that Ghana has received in 2016, $ 244.5 million through the export of 163 000 tonnes of nuts. And, even though the country produces about 70 000 tonnes of cashew nuts per year, far behind the Ivorian neighbor that produced in 2016, 650 000 tonnes.