Friday, February 19, 2010

Export Product Profile: Cashew

Description: Cashew (Anacardium Occidentale L.) is a tree crop of considerable economic importance to Nigeria and other tropical countries. Apart from being a source of useful products and byproducts for food, medicinal and industrial applications, cashew gives also a useful shade, while ornamental and alley trees are suitable for the control of soil erosion, particularly for the protection of watersheds and dams.
Harvest: Cashew nut setting begins in the middle of dry season, while harvesting takes place mainly in February or March. The entire harvest period occupies about 16 weeks. In the Eastern and Western parts of the country, where quality cashew nuts are grown, nuts are allowed to drop to the ground before they are collected. This practice ensures that only ripe nuts are collected. Nuts normally fall to the ground with their apples attached; the two are normally separated with a twisting action during collection. The remnants of the apple flash adhering to the nuts are removed with a sharp knife. After picking, the nuts are dried in the sun for 2 to 3 days, to reduce their moisture content to about 12 %. Properly dried nuts are packed in jute bags and can be kept for 6 to 10 months, if stored in suitable condition.

Locations: Major cashew growing areas in Nigeria are, by order of importance: Enugu, Abia, Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi and Cross River States in the eastern part of the country; Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Ogun States in the Western part, as well as Kwara, Kogi, Nassarawa, Benue, Taraba, Niger and FCT in the Middle Belt and also Sokoto and Kebbi States in the North West part of the country. The majority of export quality nuts come from the Western and Eastern parts of the country.

Specification: According to SGS (quality inspectors), the standard for raw cashew nuts, unshelled, is specified as follows:
i. Nut count 180-200 per kg
ii. Moisture content 8-10% max
iii. Defective nuts 15% max
iv. Float Rate 18% max
v. Admixture 0.25% max
vi. Foreign matter 0.25% max
vii. KoR, or shelling out-turn 48-50 Ibs/bag
(Obiazu, P. C.,(2000) ‘Quality Requirements for Nigeria Agricultural Products’. Unpublished Seminar Paper.)

Uses: The cashew nut is a popular snack, and its rich flavor means that it is often eaten on its own, lightly salted or sugared. In addition to this, cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL), a by-product of processing cashew, is mostly composed of anacardic acids. These acids have been used effectively against tooth abscesses due to their lethality to bacteria.

Export market: The major buyers of cashew nut from Nigeria are mainly India and Singapore. Smaller percentage goes to Europe.

Export price: The export free on board (fob) price of raw cashew nut varies from about USD 500-600/MT. However, when an exporter adds value to this product by processing it into kernels, the fob price could quadruple that of raw cashew nut.

Local price: The local price per metric tonne MT for raw cashew nuts delivered EXW Lagos (delivered in Lagos) varies from NGN40,000.00 during the peak season to about NGN80,000.00 at the off season.


  1. hi dele thanks for ur detailed explanation on cashew. pls i want to the peak season for cashewand hw can one turn itto kernel . thanks for ur response.

  2. The peak season is between march and may and to turn it into kernel you will have to import a cashew shelling machines from vietnam, india or china.

  3. Please visit this site, and see the projected price per ton, can we as Nigerian suppliers not earn within this range?

  4. Thanks so much for this post. The prices stated on that site will only be paid for high quality cashew nut of about 170-175 nut counts and 52 KOR. These are possible in Nigeria but are a bit difficult to come by.

  5. Oga Dele, Are u aware of any commodity that can be safely exported during the raining season (june-Oct)
    Any information on Yam and coconut shell please...

  6. Oga Dele, are you aware of any commodity that can be exported during the raining season(june-oct). Any info on Yam and coconut shell please?

  7. Yam and Coconut fibre can be exported during this period (i.e. June-Oct).I will update the required information on products that can be exported during raining season before the end of April.

  8. Great! I hear Nigeria is the world largest producer of Yam, yet our export does not reflect this.Instead the international market prefer Ghana Yam. Does your research work cover contract sourcing for this product and what is involved in the whole process that is from sourcing to packaging and all. I am very much interested in this commodity cos i believe it will be a high yielding commodity...

  9. The Ghana yam phenomenom is as a result of the dishonest business ethics of some Nigerian exporters. You will be surprised that some of the so called Ghana yam originated from Nigeria.

    I believe will can change our image by playing by the rules and also being very conscious of the quality of products being exported.

    I will try as much as possible to ensure that all the information(contract sourcing for this product and what is involved in the whole process that is from sourcing to packaging) you have requested for is covered in my research work on Yam export.

  10. I have been following your blog for some time now and i must say that am truly grateful for all your insights.please can i have your email address as i would like to ask you some few questions

  11. Thanks so much Ugochukwu, My email address is I will be waiting for your email.

  12. hello sir. since most businesses in nigeria are capital intensive, how much would be needed to start exportation.

  13. Oren, DO NOT let the scarcity of resources prevent you from going into your future. What you need is the will power, strong desires,
    unwavering determination and sharp focus on your goal.

  14. Thank you very much for your good work. please do you have statistics on the volume/value of raw cashew nuts and cashew kernel exported/imported in Nigeria for say the last three years.


  15. Thanks for your enquiry. We actually have access to the requested data. Kindly subscribe to our Export Information Service (EIS) to enable provide this data for you.