Guinea Bissau expects record cashew nut exports this year

29 August 2011

Bissau, Guinea Bissau, 29 Aug – Guinea Bissau is this year expected to export 174,000 tons of cashew nuts, a record for the country’s main export product and which is expected to provide revenues of US$226 million, the chairman of the National Cashew Commission (CNC) said Friday in Bissau.

The cashew campaign began last March and exports a month later, but figures are expected to be around those projected by André Nanque, who noted that this year prices for producers had also improved (an average of 333 CFA francs per kilo, or around US$0.50).

“In the export price we managed to achieve US$1,600 per ton, although the average is still US$1,300,” said the CNC chairman noting that last year Guinea Bissau had exported 122,000 tons, 135,000 tons in 2009 and no more than 109,000 in 2008.

A good year is fundamental for Guinea Bissau, which is one of the world’s poorest countries and whose economy is essentially base don cashew nut production and export.

Due to a lack of capacity and investments in the sector, Guinea Bissau exports almost all of its cashews in an unprocessed state, as it is unable to process even 15 percent of its production.

Speaking to Portuguese news agency Lusa, Nanque said that the State would this year net US$14 million in customs revenue alone from cashew exports. By December the country plans to set up a National Cashew Institute. (macauhub)