Mozambique’s National Cashew Institute (Incaju) is seeking alternative markets, including the domestic market, to overcome the issue caused by the Indian government, which increased the import tax on cashew nut imports from 45% to 70%, said an Incaju official.
Lúcia António, head of the Industrial section of Incaju, told daily newspaper Notícias that the Mozambican cashew industry is facing difficulties due to the decision, mainly because India, which is the main market and processor of cashews (around 1 million tonnes per year), is one of the main destinations of cashews from Mozambique.
“To minimise the impact of the drop in Mozambican exports on the country’s economy, Incaju is seeking other markets, promoting the use of cashews in the food industry, to produce flour, milk and butter, among other products, as well as in the cosmetics industry,” she said.
Alongside this, the Mozambican government is assessing with its counterpart in India the possibility of signing an extraordinary trade agreement to place broken cashew nuts on the market, under a quota scheme.
António told the newspaper that cashew nuts are an important source of foreign currency for Mozambique and are exported both as raw materials and as a finished product.
As an example, between 2017 and 2019, over 80,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts were exported and the country netted US$116 million, and 76% of the total went to India and 24% to Vietnam.
In the same period, 24,000 tonnes of processed cashews were exported leading to revenues of US$155 million.
Processed cashew nuts in Mozambique were sent to Europe (36%), the United States (30%), Lebanon (9.0%), South Africa (9.0%), Vietnam (10%) and India (6.0%).