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Ghana cashew importers and processors heavily affected by Ivorian ban on raw cashew border trade

  • Ghana cashew importers and processors heavily affected by Ivorian ban on raw cashew border trade

    by Market Insider

    Monday, 17 Feb. 2014

    A significant part of the raw cashew processed in Ghana is imported to supplement local supplies either directly from Côte d'Ivoire, or from Burkina Faso and Togo via Côte d'Ivoire.

    At present, all the 12 cashew processing units are located in the Brong Ahafo region. Their total processing capacity exceeds 27,000 tons. The planned start-up of the 35 000 tons Brazilian cashew processing plant at the beginning of 2015 will bringing the cashew processing capacity in the region to more than 60,000 tons.

    Cashew raw material needed to feed all these processing units, and meanwhile to attain the national annual export target of 150 000 tons, will not be matched by the current cashew production standing between 40,000 and 50,000 tons. Brong Ahafo processors are and will remain net cashew importers. For them, import across land borders with Côte d'Ivoire is the less expensive and most convenient trade alternative.

    Late last year, the Ivorian government imposed a ban on the movement of raw cashew through land borders in order to improve monitoring of the trade and maximize tax revenues. Sea shipment through ports of Abidjan and San Pedro remains the single approved transport route to Ghana.

    Complying with the ban raises therefore Ghanaian cashew processing costs and export profitability. In addition, the ban affects badly the economic situation of residents on the stretch of border between Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, for whom cashew trade provides considerable income. Moreover, potential investors who were envisaging supporting the set-up of new cashew processing businesses in the Brong Ahafo region on the basis of adequate availability of raw cashew may be discouraged to invest.

    Ghana Cashew Industry Association petitioned the government to intervene and mitigate inconveniences caused by the ban. The proposal made at the beginning of February this year is to allow at least 100,000 tons of raw cashews to be imported through the border and to establish a trading post where the Ivorian government could collect imposed duties. This is considered as a win-win deal, as the majority of Ivorian farmers and traders close to the Ghanaian border will also find it more convenient to trade.

    Source: Market Insider - information from several sources

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